I’ve taken up meal planning lately, in an effort to (a) eliminate the stress and anxiety I feel every night when it comes to feeding myself, and (b) eat more real food. The stress and anxiety come when I open the fridge or pantry and see lots of food but have no idea what to do with it, so I end up eating popcorn and slices of cheese for supper. The effort to eat more real food has come from a growing awareness of all the utter crap that is in most of the food I buy from the grocery store. So, if I can make it myself, I can control what goes into my food, and I can use the food in my fridge and pantry in a logical, stress-free way.
Enter the ham. Bought a bone-in ham last week, and baked it with brown sugar. It was delicious. And huge. Lots left over. So I took the bones and grizzly parts, and made 4 litres of stock. Then I couldn’t decide if I should make Split Pea and Ham Soup or Ham and Corn Chowder, so I made both.
A side note on soup stock: I was totally afraid of making soup stock . . . until I made soup stock. Kinda like I was with canning. I thought canning was this really complicated process that you had to be a culinary genius to accomplish. Turns out, you don’t. What you really need is time and patience. Canning is simple, as is making soup stock. I don’t buy stock in the grocery store anymore. As I’m learning with other things (like eggs), if I don’t have stock, then I don’t make soup. I’ve become so used to having anything I want whenever I want it, that I’ve forgotten that everything has a season. Even if we can have tomatoes year round at the grocery store, they aren’t nearly as good nor as nutritious as the ones I grow in my backyard during the summer.
(Seriously, though, doesn’t Split Pea Soup look a bit like baby vomit?)