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Archive for the ‘smoked ham’ Category

Yes friends, I said chowDUH! Like they say in New England!

Every single autumn of my adult life I have dreamed of seeing the leaves of New England. Though I’ve not made it yet, I am hoping one of these days to make a dash through New England in the fall and spend at least a few days in a delightful bed and breakfast on the coast of Maine.

But meanwhile, I can pretend that I’m NOT spending fall in Savannah! No! It is brisk outside, the leaves are crunching beneath my feet and I’m snuggling in at the end of a busy day of photographing tranquil N.E. harbors…. and making some delightful chowduh!!

But first, I have to tell you about my daughter-in-law who single handedly saved my dinner disaster last weekend. My cooking skills are somewhat limited, and God has truly blessed us in so many ways with Emily, who was raised by an incredible mom that is well known for her culinary skills.

So I was standing there at the stove having a meltdown (don’t forget… I’m menopausal) and sweet Em offered a solution. I had chicken and I had vegetables. Sounds good? Well, it was far from what it was supposed to be, something like lemon chicken or something, I’ve put that part of the disaster out of my memory (thank you, menopause!) So she suggested we put “some” of the veggies in the blender, make a kind of thicker version, then add the rest plus the chicken and man, oh, man, we had some serious chowder. It was SO good!

She derived this from a recipe for corn chowder that she’d found online! See, I would have just thought “corn chowder” and would never, ever have considered adapting it in other ways. She also taught me how to use Clorox in my laundry, but that is another story altogether!

Well, this just set me to thinking…. my friend and next door neighbor who in the last year has shed several pounds, told me she makes a pot of soup and adds to the mixture over a period of days… and changes it up, by adding ham or chicken, rice, beans, or whatever is on hand! She uses Knorr vegetable soup mix too. Well, I gave it a try last night. I plan to keep this thing going throughout the fall and winter or until my husband, Ninja Man, begs for soup mercy, which he probably won’t do because he enjoys a stout soup as well as I.

Here’s the soup in the crock pot, and here’s the list of ingredients:

Frozen okra
Frozen blackeyed peas and string beans
one can of corn
I think there’s some water in it too… can’t remember… oops.
a large can of diced tomatoes
I just remembered I forgot the onion, so tomorrow, I’ll add onion!
Ham (not just any ham… see below)
brown rice (uncooked, just toss it in but start cooking about 5 hours, NOT 3, before you are ready to eat. I found that out tonight…)

So here’s the finished product, complete in it’s steamy goodness:

Ninja Man was delighted to discover a ham bone and chunks of ham floating in the broth. This isn’t just ANY ham, this is the one he smoked this past summer. He came in, covered in charcoal (and I’m pretty sure his eyebrows were a bit singed) and smelling like, well, um, smoked ham. The grin on his face as he carried that platter into the house looked like the hunter returning from the big kill. He’d worked all day on that ham, stoking the fire, visiting with neighbors over the fence and smoking a smooth cigar, all on a summer day.

The ham melts in your mouth, it is so Mmmmm good. (I TOLD you he was a Ninja.)

Here’s a shot with the package of Knorr vege mix. If not for my neighbor, I would have seen that and thought, “hmmm, that’s what I would make spinach dip with.” As if I could make spinach dip…. Bon appetit!

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