Sunday, October 11, 2015

Let the Ravelry Begin! - Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Knockwurst

Stay off your feet, Mom. I'll take care of you.

Saturday - I have lost my knitting mojo and I've got to get it back.  Yesterday, I made a deliberate plan to spend some quality time with my circular needles, and brought my project downstairs with me.  And then, despite the fact that it would have done me a lot of good, I did not pick up the knitting even once.

This has been a problem for over a year, since about the time we moved to this house.  So I am wondering if it has anything to do with the fact that I haven't managed to organize my stash. When   we first moved here, I went through all of the yarn, sorted out the stuff I knew I would never use, packed it up and passed it on to someone who is involved in knitting for the troops.  I have a good idea of what I have in both yarn and UFOs (unfinished objects).  I sort of have a plan as to which of the UFOs I am going to finish first.  Except I am finishing nothing. Scarves, shawls, socks - all my favorites - and I can't seem to get a damn thing done.

Well, that has to change. I need inspiration and a big kick in the ass. I started that process by heading over to Ravelry, the best fiber-related site on the Web:

Ravelry is a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration. The content here is all user- driven; we as a community make the site what it is. Ravelry is a great place for you to keep notes about your projects, see what other people are making, find the perfect pattern and connect with people who love to play with yarn from all over the world in our forums.

I have been a member for years, and have built up a pretty impressive library of free and paid-for knitting patterns. I used to check in every few days, but when my life started to unravel, so did my knitting mojo.  It's a great place for inspiration, so I'm putting it back on my list of Things To Do.  I have lists for everything, and this is a worthy addition.

In addition to that addition, I have to get back to the Yarn Harlot. Besides all those socks she knocks off every few hours (okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a little - but just a little), the Harlot also knits sweaters.  I used to knit sweaters, but then I moved to Florida, turned 40, and decided I didn't have to knit anything I didn't really enjoy knitting and had no need for. But Stephanie - the Harlot - lives in Canada, Toronto I think, and there is a constant need for sweaters. And not only does she do gorgeous work, she actually likes knitting sweaters. So next on my list of Things To Do is keeping up with the Harlot. I know how that sounds, but you know what I mean.

I am really, truly feeling grim today. This is one of those days when all I can do is declare fibromyalgia to be the winner and go back to bed. I feel wretched enough that I am going to have to miss a wedding, and I feel bad about that. 

I need soup, so I need to throw a few things in the crockpot. There will be no standing in front of the stove for 8 or 12 hours today.

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with Knockwurst

2 cups frozen tricolor pepper and onion blend
1 pound green split peas, rinsed in colander  
1 piece smoked pork neck bone (mine happened to be frozzen)
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 large stalk celery, thinly sliced
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
9 cups water
2 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes, broken up
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon Emeril's Cajun Essence
1 bay leaf

Add the ingredients to the crockpot in the order given. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

So, after 7 hours, those damn peas were still almost rock-hard. I should have soaked them, but there you are. I threw it on the high setting and sincerely hope it will be done before midnight.

Another 90 minutes on high, the equivalent of three hours on low, and the peas were perfect. I let the soup cool to room temperature and moved the covered crock to the refrigerator for an overnight rest. Tune in tomorrow for the stunning soup-conclusion.

But first ...

Another version of the pinwheel rolls: Ken's Honey Mustard, thinly sliced ham and turkey, well-drained salsa, shredded Swiss cheese, dried chives, black pepper. Bake for 8 minutes, reverse pan, bake 8 more minutes. Let these cool on the silpat-lined baking pan.

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