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.