Pea Soup Project
Yesterday my daughter visited and brought with her a ten pound ham shank because it was taking up too much room in her small freezer. OK. She asked me if I would make my "famous" pea soup with the bone. OK. Then she asked me if I would save some of the meat for making ham salad sandwiches. OK. She told me I might be able to cut off a couple of slabs for her as dinner entrees and to keep a couple for myself. OK. At about 3pm I put the ham in a roasting pan, after digging that pan out of the deepest under-counter cupboard there is in this old cabin. (I thought I wouldn't need it until next Thanksgiving.) I used a turkey oven bag and it was ready to carve around 7pm. It came out beautiful! I'm very sorry that I was so involved that I didn't take a picture of it on the platter before carving. * I set aside two pieces for our dinner - which I had not yet even begun. Then we ate dinner. I finished cutting it up, packaged the edible slabs and chunks, and proceeded to strain the bones and remnants in my old colander over a large old bowl. The broth was then poured back into an old 6 quart pot, I added water to the top, added the bone and set it to simmer ALL NIGHT LONG.
* This is not my photo but it looks exactly as mine did after it was baked.
This morning, the total brew was poured again into the colander, straining down into the large bowl. I had to have help. While I held the colander over the bowl, (in the sink, of course) my husband poured in the contents. Those bones now were bare as bones can be! The bowlful of rich brownish broth was then poured back into the pot and the potful was put in the refrigerator. After about 2 hours, I removed the pot, took a slotted spoon and skimmed off all of the white fat layer that had floated to the top. There was a lot and it was removed totally and easily.
After rinsing the package of split peas, and chopping up two onions, the soup has been started. It will simmer all day long. There will be no need for further straining as it will become a smooth, kind of thickish gruel. No lumps or bumps. I'll then add pepper and leave it to others to the salting. I will freeze portions and keep a few for myself.
While the soup was simmering, we - get that - we dug out the old grinder and all of the chunks were processed. I fed the beast, he turned the handle. The result was three fairly large containers of ham - ready to be made into ham salad, or used for hash, or added to casseroles. Wish I could share a bit with you as well. There is enough. I packaged the remaining dinner entree slabs and that is that! Soup simmering. Ham and soup project complete.
Did I tell you that she also brought over another dozen of those wonderful home-grown eggs? Well, I already had one partial and one full box so what do you do when you have extra eggs? You boil the oldest bunch and make egg salad for sandwiches. Oh, and egg-potato salad with three potatoes that were already cooked and just waiting to be used in some way. We had eggy potato salad for lunch. YUM! I'm tired now. I too am old.
The cleanup is extensive, but who cares? It will be worth it. Come for a visit. It sure smells good in here!