Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Day for Cooking

Today was a cold, gray day. A perfect kind of day to spend in the kitchen.

The day started at 5:30 this morning, when I got the hankering to make homeade buttermilk biscuits from Greg's Southern Biscuit recipe  found at allrecipes.com.  They didn't rise like I would have liked, but the flavor was incredible. I think I rolled them out a little thin, which probably explains the lack of leavening.  I made a batch of homeade sausage gravy to go with them.

Tanner decided they were so good they made his eyes cross. 

This afternoon I decided to whip up a pot of split pea soup. Let me say that as wonderful as this soup tastes, it is NOT pretty.  But paired with my Hawaiian Sandwich, it is incredible.  

Here is my recipe:

Amy's Split Pea Soup

2 1/2 cups split peas
8 cups water (or broth)
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced ham
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a soup pot, bring to a low boil, then decrease heat and cover, stirring occasionally until peas are cooked completely.  

Hawaiian Sandwich

1 Hawaiian Sandwich roll, or 2 slices Hawaiian bread
2 slices havarti cheese
2 slices ham
1 pineapple ring

Arrange ham, cheese, and pineapple ring on bread. Butter outside surfaces of bread and grill in panini press or skillet until cheese is melted and bread is toasty.

We enjoyed a lovely cold weather meal, and then my daughter and her friend decided they wanted to get in the act and bake some chocolate peanut butter chip cookies.  I think there was more goofing going on than there was cooking but they sure had a fabulous time.  

The highlight of my day occured when I received my mail for the day.  Happily tucked into the box were the books that I've been waiting for for about 2 weeks.

The first, More Straw Bale Building: A Complete Guide to Designing and Building with Straw has me daydreaming about building my home... again.   The second is How to Build Small Barns and Outbuildings.  I love to sit with my books on these nippy winter evenings. Can't wait to curl up with these tonight. In fact, I think I'll go and do that now!


  1. Oh, all that luscious food is making me hungry!!! I LOVE, Split Pea soup! I haven't made any in years, mostly because I use my stick blender to mush is up, and I had transferred my stick blender over to soap making, so couldn't use it any longer on my soup. Have a new one now, and will have to try your recipe, too. It sounds pretty much identical to mine, though. What is Hawaiian Bread?
    Gotta go stir my dinner now. I'm cooking Turnip Greens & Chickweed, with Potatoes, Bacon, and Onions. This is my first time to try Chickweed cooked.
    Oh, and those straw houses/buildings absolute fascinate me! I can't wait to try building something on that style, too. Have you ever read about the Earth Bag structures? or the Cord Wood houses?
    Gotta go stir, enjoyed the post!

  2. Hey, Anna. Hawaiian bread is actually what its marketed as. Its a sweet yeast bread. The packaging is orange, but I can't remember who makes it. You can find it in your Walmart deli department usually. I've never tried chickweed, whats it like?

    I actually planned on building an earthbag dome home originally, but think I'm going to switch to straw bale becuase it insulates better. I may build a couple of earth bag structures too though. My daughter had her heart set on having her own dome home lol. Still might do that, not sure yet. Time will tell.

  3. We're also dreaming of building our own home. I keep alternating between strawbale and log -- maybe the one we finally build will be a mesh between the two. Hope you get a chance to someday make the dream come true.

  4. That sounds like a beautiful combination, Zev. Would love to see how it turns out!

  5. I hope you post pictures (especially) of the progress, once you get started on one. And I wish you the best with it, too (straw house). I am with Zev... I have been thinking of building one with a combo of methods (straw bales, cordwood, and earthbag). May start with small critter houses for practice, first.
    Thanks for the info on the Hawaiian Bread. I will look for it to see what the ingredients are so I can try to make my own, but I am trying to get away from store bought bread and it's dough conditioners. It sounds yummy, though! And that sandwich sounds wonderful! I will have to try that sandwich for sure.
    Gipsi, you asked me somewhere about what the chickweed was like. It has kind of a nutty, earthy flavor when cooked. I found it a bit strong when first cooked, but after I put the leftovers up in the fridge and let them stand for a day, the flavor mellowed out and was mild and wonderful! When eaten raw in salad or on a sandwich, it seems to have a sweet, nutty flavor. And best of all, it grows really well this time of year, here, even through all these early freezes!