Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday night

Slow news day, as they say.

Shopping and preparing the soup took longer than I'd planned, so no gym tonight. It's a holiday anyway. Best split-pea soup I've ever made, although I always make basically the same recipe (from Joy of Cooking). The peas didn't need soaking, so first I made a stock with 8 cups of water and two smoked ham hocks I had in the freezer. When the stock was ready, I removed the hocks and added the split peas, onions, carrots, celery, etc. and cooked till the peas were done (only 1/2 hour). Toward the end I added chopped fresh garlic and thyme. Then I removed it from the heat and pureed it with a hand blender, blending in 2 TB gravy flour (Wondra), and let that thicken back over low heat. Meanwhile I fried up a large ham steak and then trimmed and chopped it into cubes and added it to the pot, along with the juices and deglazed "fond" (brown stuff) from the frying pan. Had two bowls for dinner with a few roasted-garlic whole-grain Melba toast rounds on the side. Excellent. Will take some of the soup to work tomorrow for lunch.

(All the pork notwithstanding, this has to be a pretty healthy dish, and I trim the ham steak of fat, although it's fairly well marbled. (I do have high "good" cholesterol.) I also ate the marrow out of the bone in the pork steak (as I always do--my father taught me to eat it when I was a child). Then last night I heard on Anthony Bourdain's show that there was a lot of "good" cholesterol in bone marrow, as he was sucking marrow out of bones with a straw in Malaysia or somewhere. Ugh was my initial reaction.)

After dinner, had a green tea at Starbucks while reading this dream-like story by Italo Calvino. The weather was really nice today.

Chelsea Lately on at 11:00. Opening monologue was the best part, with her tribute to Obama on Presidents' Day; Round Table not so great; interview with Aubrey O'Day (never heard of her, but what do I know). (She has a page on Wikipedia.)

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