Revelations over a bowl of split pea soup


My momma always told me not to wish my life away.

When I was a kid, I can remember wishing for the days when I would be an adult.  Looking forward to having my own place to live, my own money to spend, my own rules to live by. Wanting NOW what would inevitably come. Wishing....

I think by now we've all realized that being an adult is a total rip-off.  Momma was right.

Another year has passed us by and I can't help but be a little melancholy. While everyone is oversharing on social media their enthusiasms and goals for the next 365 days, I feel sad about the passage of time. It all moves so fast. While I'm glad to finally have my family's hardships that lingered from 2013 into 2014 behind us and look forward to much healthier days ahead for everyone, I just wish it would all slow down so we can savor and enjoy the good parts more. It seems we blow through 365 days at lightening fast speed.  One day it's January 1 and in the blink of an eye we are already making resolutions for the next year.

My resolution for this year is to enjoy anything and everything as much as possible.  I resolve to see the silver lining in what might not be an ideal situation and learn from it.  I want to surround myself with those who matter and focus less on who and what doesn't.  We only have one audition for life and I want to make the most of it before the final curtain call.  I want to revel in the good times. 

We always seem to end a year with plenty of indulgences - Thanksgiving feasts, holiday parties, Christmas dinners and gifts, Champagne-laden toasts at New Year - so it stands to reason that a new year is marked with humbleness.  Black-eyed peas and collard greens are typically served as a meal for good luck and good fortune.  Most Eastern European countries serve split pea soup as a sign of prosperity in the form of money in the new year.

Since I had a nice meaty ham bone left over from Christmas dinner and since I've never eaten it, I figured it wouldn't hurt to test the split pea soup tradition.  And guess what??  I'm pleased to report that I was told today that I would be getting a 6.25% pay increase with my first 2015 paycheck.

I am a believer!!


Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Ham
Servings: 4 to 6

1 (16-ounce) package dried split peas, rinsed
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
6 cups chicken broth
1 leftover meaty ham bone

Place all of the ingredients in the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Remove the bay leaf from the soup and discard. Remove ham bone from soup and pull remaining meat from the bone and set meat aside. You can either remove a few cups of the soup, and puree the remaining with an immersion blender or use the immersion blender to puree all the soup slightly. Stir the reserved ham (and soup) back into the soup and serve warm.  (If the soup becomes too thick after blending, add water to thin.)

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