So my first post of the year is one that is only may seem strange (except to a fellow foodie, of course).
Grocery Stores - I adore them! I love walking up and down the aisles, checking out the produce, drooling in the bakery and envisioning great things for the pork loin I have just put in my buggy. (or cart - depending on what area of the US you reside) Of course we have the standard Grocery Stores. Kroger, Publix and Aldis (my new favorite). I am also lucky enough to be reasonably close to Trader Joe's, The Dekalb Farmers Market (which is referred to as "the good" Farmer's Market) and Whole Foods. There are also local International Farmers Markets that are convenient (one being right across the street from my office) One thing I wish we had locally... specialized meat markets, delis and a local fish monger! I am envious of the girls on Contessa's Kitchen that have these shops around them! And in the spring/summer/fall, I am lucky to have several Saturday Farmer's Markets to go to with local produce in abundance! I am impatiently waiting for the 1st home grown tomato sandwich of the year!
So, on Friday ,, I decided it had been way too long since my last visit to Whole Foods and I really needed a "fix!" My sister Charlene and my Mom have never been and it was high time they were introduced to the Whole Foods experience! We conned my nieces (with brownies) into going with us and set out for what I refer to as "Six Flags over Foodie world" - MY kind of amusement park! I pushed my cart through rows of produce, stopping every now and then for a sample of a juicy strawberry and a block of sweet cantaloupe, then continuing to perhaps one of my favorite exhibits - the Cheese shoppe! Sample plates of Aged Cheddar, Gruyere and a creamy Blue that demanded a 2nd (and maybe 3rd) nibble! And then, there is was...the grandest attraction of all...the Bakery! My nose was filled with the aroma of fresh baked Sour Dough Bread and Rolls. My eyes darting back and forth from Mini Fruit Tarts, Cannollis, cookies, cakes and pies, oh my! And as much as I NEEDED to push my buggy straight through to the next attraction, I had promised Em a brownie, so a stop for a brownie (and a mini cannolli) was necessary.
I meandered through the rest of the store getting the necessities I came after ( plus a few other treats) and maybe another cruise through the Cheese Shoppe, then headed to the dreaded check-out line - for they don't call it Whole Paycheck for nothing!
One item I came home with was bulk Split Peas, for I had a hambone in the freezer just begging to be the star in a pot of Split Pea Soup. Now 30 years ago (or so) a spoonful of Split Pea Soup would have never crossed my lips, however, someone encouraged me to make Ina's recipe and just try it and I am so glad I did. Let me tell you - it is NOTHING like that canned Campbell's I was served once at a friends when I was about 10 years old and thought they were joking when they placed a bowl of green "poo" in front of me. Honestly, I thought it was a joke...a very bad joke at that! And since my mama had taught me good manners, I did taste it and try to gag down enough to make a dent. (And seriously. who serves a 10 year old split pea soup) But I digress...
This is such a great filling, rich soup - just perfect for the cold damp day it was. Ins's recipe does not call for a ham bone - so don't wait to make this until you have one -it's just as good without.
Ya'll Come back!
May the Lord bless his people with peace and happiness and let them Celebrate! Psalm 64:10
*Originally posted March 11, 2012