Happy New Year

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.  – Oprah Winfrey

I spent the morning tagging, titling, retouching and uploading more London photos to flickr. There really are some nice shots in there, I think.

The cats survived us being gone without too much destruction to the house. There were a few chairs knocked over and other subtle signs that there was some activity while we were gone, but nothing major. Valeria is being very clingy, as is Grover. I woke up this morning with one of them sleeping on my leg and the other curled up in my armpit. Amelia finally deigned to come greet me this morning. Momma Cat demanded a trip outside and is probably under the neighbors hot tub sleeping. 

Sleeping in my own bed last night was absolute heaven. We managed to stay up until 6 pm, which wasn’t bad considering neither of us slept well the night before we left and were up around 2am London time. 

I’m making pea and ham soup for dinner tonight. First up is the ham stock. 

1 ham shank, smoked (I like Wellshire farms brand as they are full of meat)
1 onion
some garlic cloves
2 stalks of celery
1 carrot
Bay leaf 
peppercorns
2 dried chilis

Put all ingredients in a pot, add enough water to cover the shank. Simmer for 2 – 4 hours. 

When the ham is cooked and the broth looks done, remove the ham and strain out the vegetables. When the ham is cool enough to touch shred or chop the meat and set aside. 

Soften 1 chopped onion and a little garlic in some bacon fat or oil. Add 1 cup of split peas. Add ham, 3 cups of ham stock. Simmer until peas are cooked (1 1/2 – 2 hours). Season to taste (hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, salt as needed). Serve with bread (fresh if you’re feeling really domestic) and nice wine. 

Happy New Year everyone!

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Filed under Cats, Cooking, Home, Life, Photos

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