Monday, 18 November 2013

The Gift of Time and Homemade Pea Soup

When I walked outside this morning the ground was littered with broken branches and tree bits.  During the night, we had endured high winds from the same system that brought tornadoes to the U.S. Midwest. It looked like these winds had wrestled with the trees and the trees had definitely lost; though I must say that many of the trees on this property are very old and it is common to often find branches littering the land but nothing like the sight this morning.  Fortunately, we certainly didn't have anything close to the kind of devastation a tornado can cause but it is a reminder of how vulnerable we are to weather patterns that bring with them severe conditions. 

This is the short window of time between two seasons; one day it is more like autumn, the next definitely wintery.  These seasonal changes show us how time passing makes its own marks on the earth. There will soon be no mistaking winter because it will bring a deep blanket of snow to our area.  I like to think there is a message for me to know too as I watch another winter creeping in and that is that I am being given a gift... the gift of more time and what a privilege that is!

Yesterday was a slow and gloomy Sunday.  It was the perfect day for a simmering pot of soup.  I had left over ham and decided to use it to make a pot of my old fashioned split pea soup with dumplings. 
Here is the recipe:

2 cups yellow split peas,1 diced onion, as much leftover ham as you have, about 6 cups of water to start.  Simmer this gently for 3 hours adding more water if it gets too thick.  Then add any vegetables you like; I add 3 diced carrots and 1 diced potato.  For the dumplings I mixed together 2 cups of flour, 3 tsp. baking powder, a pinch of parsley and 1 tsp. salt; then I cut in one third cup butter, and then added enough water...just less than a cup, to make a soft dough.  Drop by tablespoons into the soup; cover tightly and let cook for 15 minutes. 

Sometimes this soup will scorch a little on the bottom while the dumplings are cooking; don't scrape or stir the soup, just ladle gently from the top into bowls and leave the scorched bits be!