Guru Voodoo and French Canadian-Style Split Pea Soup

I have a blogging friend, Galen Pearl from 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (And Staying There) who is one of the wisest women I have ever had the privilege of knowing.  Galen likes to go alone to a cabin in the mountains every New Year's Eve, do some serious reflection and introspection, then find a word which will be her "theme" and give her guidance and inspiration throughout the new year.  Last year, her word was "yield" and her word for 2012 is "shine".

I thought this was a pretty cool idea and tried out a bit of guru voodoo of my own; just letting half-formed thoughts bounce around in the wasteland I call my brain to see if any one word would rise from the quagmire and make itself known.   And guess what?  I found a word (or maybe it found me).  Guru voodoo, divine intervention, or an over-active imagination - whatever.  All I know is that I'm 100 percent certain my word for 2012 is "comfort".

1. To soothe, console or bring cheer to
1.  a feeling of relief
2.  a state of ease & satisfaction of bodily wants

There is an explanation behind it that involves the convoluted paths my thoughts wander down and the stresses of the year I'm happy to leave behind, but it can basically be summed up like this:  I want a smaller life.   The big wide world and all it's wonders don't excite me as it did in my youth. I want to focus on what really matters to me - my family, my home and the simple joys found there -  comfort (as in the noun).  And being the blogger that I am, it also means sharing it with you - comfort (as in the verb).

Since there is very little in this world that brings more comfort on a blustery winter day than hot home-made soup, I'd like to share with you my recipe for split pea soup.   It's super easy and very yummy.  Enjoy!

French Canadian-Styled Split-Pea Soup

450 g/1 lb dried yellow split peas
2 liters/8 cups water
1 ham hock  (or 1 cup/250 ml smoked pork left-over from Christmas, chopped)
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 lg. carrot, grated
1 tsp salt

1.  Wash the peas, cover with water and let sit over night.
2.  Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer 2 hours or so.
3.  If you used a ham hock, remove, cut the meat off the bone, and add the meat back to the pot.

See?  Easy!


  1. Well, aren't you sweet?! Thank you for the lovely compliment. I like to think I have my wise moments, as we all do. How nice that the woowoo word method worked for you, too! I hope much comfort will come your way this year, as I'm sure you will bring much comfort to others.

  2. I hope you get all the comfort you want and deserve.

  3. The perfect word for 2012....comfort>>>know yourself...deep breathing..."forest bathing"...I do all of this now...and ....it works for me! Cheers!

  4. Word of wisdom.
    Now I also want to think about a word for the year.
    I'll try not to think of those who already part of my personal dictionary.

  5. "Comfort." Excellent choice, my friend. And an excellent idea. I will have to ponder on my own word for the year now.

  6. Split pea soup is so good when it's cold. I'd totally forgotten about it. Thanks for sharing.

  7. What a great word! Since you've taken it (sidebar, your honor? Can anyone really TAKE a word?), I'll go with something very similar: Peace.

    Admit it, you thought I was going to be a wiseguy, huh?

  8. What a neat word for 2012. I love that idea ;)

  9. We all wish for more comfort, and yet, usually we reach for the wrong things. I try to use tea and cup-o-soups to provide healthy comfort when I need it through the week. I like the fresh new look around here! Happy New Year!

  10. I think that is a great word for 2012!! Especially since I am blogging in pj's by a nice warm fire!

    And loving the look of your blog!

  11. you had me at french canadian. (since i am.) then you said 'smoked pork' and i was in it for good.

  12. Great word.

    And now I'd like some soup.

  13. Comfort is such a favorite word of mine! Let's hope it doesn't overlap with too much comforst (psssttt... laziness) for me!

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  15. What a wonderful word for the New Year! Soup sounds yummy.