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I’ve taken up meal planning lately, in an effort to (a) eliminate the stress and anxiety I feel every night when it comes to feeding myself, and (b) eat more real food.  The stress and anxiety come when I open the fridge or pantry and see lots of food but have no idea what to do with it, so I end up eating popcorn and slices of cheese for supper.  The effort to eat more real food has come from a growing awareness of all the utter crap that is in most of the food I buy from the grocery store.  So, if I can make it myself, I can control what goes into my food, and I can use the food in my fridge and pantry in a logical, stress-free way.

Enter the ham.  Bought a bone-in ham last week, and baked it with brown sugar.  It was delicious. And huge.  Lots left over.  So I took the bones and grizzly parts, and made 4 litres of stock.  Then I couldn’t decide if I should make Split Pea and Ham Soup or Ham and Corn Chowder, so I made both.

Ham Soup Two Ways

A side note on soup stock:  I was totally afraid of making soup stock . . . until I made soup stock.  Kinda like I was with canning.  I thought canning was this really complicated process that you had to be a culinary genius to accomplish.  Turns out, you don’t.  What you really need is time and patience.  Canning is simple, as is making soup stock.  I don’t buy stock in the grocery store anymore.  As I’m learning with other things (like eggs), if I don’t have stock, then I don’t make soup.  I’ve become so used to having anything I want whenever I want it, that I’ve forgotten that everything has a season.  Even if we can have tomatoes year round at the grocery store, they aren’t nearly as good nor as nutritious as the ones I grow in my backyard during the summer.

(Seriously, though, doesn’t Split Pea Soup look a bit like baby vomit?)