Cold, Split Pea Soup: YUM! It's What's for Breakfast!

It's Blogapalooz-Hour for the month of July. On the last Wednesday of every month, our fearless leader sends any willing participant a topic to write about at precisely 9:00 pm. We have one hour to reflect on that topic, conceive, write, edit and publish our response.

It's a writing exercise to keep things fresh, moving and immediate. For some reason, I enjoy the challenge.

I'll be missing an hour of the Sox vs. Cubs game. What I sacrifice for the written word.

Tonight's topic is:

Write about one or more of your food/eating preferences

or habits

that you or others

may find unusual or quirky.

Those that know me well, know I love to eat. I eat more voraciously than my husband and he weighs one hundred pounds more than I do. I'll even eat his food, right off his plate, and he's okay with that. Bless him.

He'll look at me with a sad face and say, "You're eating all my food!" But he never gets mad. That's why we are still married after almost forty years.

I can eat all day long. Hunger is always present. Never met a food or food group that I didn't like. Except liver. Is that a food group? Or snails. Or those organ meats like tongue, tripe or feet. Maybe we should create a food sub-group for these rather unsavory delicacies.

Anything else is fair game.

Usually a handful of Haribo gummi bears (plain and sour mixed) are in my pocket while I am doing things like making a bed, folding laundry or vacuuming the floors.

But the rather quirky habit I have, regarding my eating habits, is eating food that should be served "warm" cold, the next morning for breakfast. Or lunch. Or a snack. Or dinner.

Pizza, cold the next day, tastes even better than hot, right out of the pizza oven. I'll hide it so no one else can find the box hidden behind the raisins and brown sugar in the fridge.

Have you ever tried cold, leftover, Chinese food, eating it right out of the take-out cardboard box with the little handle?  Pure bliss! Even the rice is better cold the next day with a packet of soy sauce poured over the top. Cold, pork egg foo young and chicken with pea pods, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, mixed together, and you know your day will be golden.

Italian? Don't even ask. Lasagna, angel hair pasta with meatballs, manicotti, garlic bread, rigatoni and Italian sausage all are divine, cold, right out of the fridge, anytime. I live for those leftovers. Honestly, they taste better the next day without any preparation. Maybe that's why they taste so damn good. Just grab a fork and you're done.

Cold bratwurst on a poppy seed hot dog bun with Dijon mustard? Four star dining in our home.

But my most quirky habit of all is cold split pea soup for breakfast. That's my secret vice. Don't tell anyone. They may never want to dine with me again. This is my fall and winter spectacle. I make my dad's recipe for split pea soup all the time in our cold, Chicago weather months, which are often.

I simmer the dried peas in broth all day long with a ham bone, oregano, onion, celery, garlic and bay leaf. Later in the day I'll add the ham. About thirty minutes before serving, carrots, so they don't overcook. You can smell this soup wafting out on the street.

The kitchen smells for days.

But it's so worth it.

I'll double the batch and we will eat it for a week.

But my secret treat is to rise early, spoon a coffee mug full of this thick delight, and eat it cold while I read my newspaper and start the day off to a delicious beginning.

The soup is so thick the spoon stands up straight in the mug. Just the way I like it.

My beloved, late dad "Toots" created this recipe, taught me how to make it and loved it as much as I do.

Perhaps that's why I can't get enough of it. Whether it's served hot for dinner on a snowy night in January, cold the next morning for breakfast, or just in my memories on a hot July, Wednesday evening, just like tonight.

Cold Split pea soup! Down the hatch, anytime.

Thanks, Dad.

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Filed under: Lifestyle, Observations

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