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The Winter Sleepys

February 4, 2022

This former Californian has a bad case of the winter sleepys. Getting motivated to exercise, or do anything, when short, freezing cold, winter days are begging you to curl up on the couch with a blanket, a book, and a hot cup of tea takes massive effort. Add a pandemic where no one wants to have fun and you realize that slow drift to sleep every night with the potential of a fabulous dream is probably the most exciting part of your day. This is not a good sign.

Even the cemetery is gorgeous in winter.

I’m forcing myself to walk, even in the freezing cold, which is lovely on a gorgeous day like we had last week. I still love winter, even though it did dare to rain, then freeze then snow on top of it creating actual hell on earth for me and Topper.

He just wobbles toward me, silently mouthing “Why are you doing this to me?” One morning I watched him walk in circles for 15 minutes in the freezing cold, waiting for him to pee, only to realize he relieved himself on my living room rug before I picked him up to take him outside.

I’m convinced this is a test like the ones old witches used to play on people in fairy tales to see if they were nice or not. If I lose my temper, karma will come back to me soon enough.

Nevertheless, we all have to keep moving forward. At least we have delicious food to look foward to! I’m re-posting an older blog with a recipe I put up for The Best Split Pea Soup a few years ago. It’s not beautiful, but is scrumptious, hearty, and will keep you warm, plus give you the energy to go shovel snow, or hike up a hill. Just give this recipe a try, you won’t regret it. Here’s a link to the split pea blog: It Ain’t Pretty But, Man is it Good!

Please let me know how you tackle the sleepy’s. I can use a little advice.

And if you’re not a follower of my blog, please take a moment to scroll up on the top right of this blog and become one. Or scroll down on your cell phone to the follow prompt and follow from there!

Now, I’m off to bed. YES!

The Best Split Pea Soup

Yields1 Serving

 2 tbsp olive oil
 1 cup diced onion
 1 cup diced celery
 1 cup diced carrot
 1 large clove garlic
 1 one pound bag of dried green split peas
 1 ham bone with lots of meat left on
 1 medium russet potato, diced
 1 bay leaf
 8 cups water
 ¼ tsp black pepper
 salt to taste (if needed)

1

Sort and rinse peas in a strainer. In a heavy 4 quart pot, saute celery, onion, garlic and carrot until tender, but not browned.

2

Add rinsed peas, ham bone, potato, pepper, water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the pan, until peas are very tender, about 2 to 3 hours. Remove ham bone, cut meat from bone and discard bone. (Some people like to puree their soup — I like mine chunky. The split pea police will not be checking on you, so do what you like.)

3

Place chopped ham back in soup pan. Remove bay leave before you serve it. You can add a dollop of sour cream if you like, but it’s good just as it is!

Ingredients

 2 tbsp olive oil
 1 cup diced onion
 1 cup diced celery
 1 cup diced carrot
 1 large clove garlic
 1 one pound bag of dried green split peas
 1 ham bone with lots of meat left on
 1 medium russet potato, diced
 1 bay leaf
 8 cups water
 ¼ tsp black pepper
 salt to taste (if needed)

Directions

1

Sort and rinse peas in a strainer. In a heavy 4 quart pot, saute celery, onion, garlic and carrot until tender, but not browned.

2

Add rinsed peas, ham bone, potato, pepper, water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the pan, until peas are very tender, about 2 to 3 hours. Remove ham bone, cut meat from bone and discard bone. (Some people like to puree their soup — I like mine chunky. The split pea police will not be checking on you, so do what you like.)

3

Place chopped ham back in soup pan. Remove bay leave before you serve it. You can add a dollop of sour cream if you like, but it’s good just as it is!

The Best Split Pea Soup
  • Reply
    Bernie Tunno
    February 5, 2022 at 1:54 am

    Growing up I hated pea soup but now older and somewhat wiser I love the stuff. Your recipe seems rather simple. Keep up the good work.I love soup in winter!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      February 5, 2022 at 12:16 pm

      I don’t remember Mom ever making it when we were kids, but I love it! Glad you do too. Grandpa loved it! Once he ate two bowls of it and had to use the bathroom rather quickly. He swore after that that he would never eat it again, but he did!

  • Reply
    Julia Shure
    February 4, 2022 at 11:57 am

    Hi Fran!

    When we have nice weather this time of year in Northern CA it makes me nervous. Not enough rain here and snow in the mountains means potential summer fires. Your snow looks lovely. I envy all that Midwest precipitation!

    Julia

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      February 4, 2022 at 1:05 pm

      Oh Julia, I don’t know why we can’t build a pipeline for water and send it your way. We could stand to get rid of some and you guys could sure use it! I loved the “winter” in California. Best weather anywhere, hands down! Enjoy it for now.

  • Reply
    Ruby-Ann Lee
    February 4, 2022 at 10:19 am

    Sent to Darren for us to make on Sunday night! We’ve been bringing home lunches to work and this sounds like a lovely meal to keep me warm in our freezing offices. Thanks for sharing <3

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      February 4, 2022 at 11:40 am

      Awww Ruby, I sure do miss you and Darren. I know you will like the soup. It’s delish and the potato thickens it up nicely. Stay warm! And thanks for reading my blog. Love you guys! Or as they say here in Pittsburgh, Love yinz.

  • Reply
    Colleen
    February 4, 2022 at 10:16 am

    Frannie! I am making this! Split pea is my favorite. Had a heck of a start to the NY too. Double whammies all around. I’ve found my happy light, meditation (TRYING), exercise, needlepointing and reading help me. Oh and cooking and laundry for 3 teens! I will say my bestie and I text each other every morning 10 things we are grateful for. Sure helps set the day on the right tone. Miss you! Hopefully will tag alone with Matt to Ohio soon! Could use a good dose of you! XOXO

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      February 4, 2022 at 11:44 am

      Colleen, that is brilliant. I must start doing that myself — an early morning exercise of gratitude! I just heard a great podcast on Hidden Brain on NPR about how to stay happy when things go to crap, which was very good! Here’s a link: https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/minimizing-pain-maximizing-joy/. I would LOVE to see you, so come when you can and please come up for air. Cooking and laundry for three teens would keep me busy for months!

  • Reply
    JoAnn Jones
    February 4, 2022 at 10:06 am

    Same here in Missouri , Fran, just had some ice then about 8 inches of snow on top. Been inside fir 2 days watching the snow and a few birds outside. I try to keep busy cooking , reading , cleaning and talking to friends on the phone. Bill & I watch movies on Netflix , Ozark, The Stranger , Home Team to name a few. We do not get up early unless somewhere to go.Looking forward to our trip to Florida to visit Jane & Duke on Feb 16 for 10 days ! Sure helps to get away for awhile !!! Take care , stay healthy & warm 💕😊🤗🤗

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      February 4, 2022 at 11:47 am

      I must say JoAnn, I am on board with that talking on the phone thing. It does help keep me from total lunacy and provides an escape from searching my refrigerator for one more thing to eat! I too love Netflix but must limit myself to 1 or 2 nights only, or I become an addict. Have fun in Florida! Sip a cocktail on a sunny veranda with your sis for me!

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