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Budgets & Split Pea Soup

January 4, 2012

It’s the first month of a new year, so DH takes a look at finances, the list of repairs that are needed on the house, what maintenance needs to be done on the yard & flowerbeds, everything he can think of, then compares expenses & income last year against the written budget we had. How’d we do? Then he formulates the budget for this year.

Budget

I prefer the envelope system for groceries, otherwise I get into the bad habit of impulse buying with “Oh, look at this on special at my favorite grocery store! I can make that for dinner tomorrow night!” which leads to overspending. I always have a list when I shop for groceries & I always have a menu plan for the week/month.

My best way for me to keep the budget intact is to stay out of stores! If I’m not shopping – I’m not spending! That includes online stores. Shopping online has bumped my budget more than once in the past couple of years, so I have to discipline myself.

Split peas

We also keep a running total of monies spent for absolutely everything on the refrigerator door, a week at a time. “What gets measured gets managed!” is the quote I have at the top of the sheet & I don’t like surprises when I’m paying the bills. So far, so good – except certain members of the household will clip their receipt to the sheet expecting me to be the scribe… Stop it, guys! I’m not your secretary!

Green split peas

Split Pea Soup

Soup is a great meal in winter & a fabulous way to stretch your grocery dollar. Dried beans are packed with protein & fiber & don’t contain all the salt & preservatives as the ones in cans. And they’re cheap! Still have a few pieces of ham (or turkey) left from your Christmas feast? Throw it in the soup pot & dinner’s done!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dry Split Peas
  • 2 quarts Water
  • 1 meaty Ham Bone
  • 1 chopped Onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • Dash Black Pepper
  • 2 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 2 large Carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

Instruction:

  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cover dried peas with 2 quarts of water.
  2. Bring split peas to a boil; boil gently for 2 minutes.
  3. Set aside to soak for 1 hour.
  4. Add ham bone, chopped onion & seasonings.
  5. Bring split pea soup to a boil; Cover, reduce heat & simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove meat from bone; Dice & return to pea soup with chopped celery & carrot.
  7. Simmer split pea soup slowly for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Taste soup & add salt.

I like to add a tablespoon of plain yogurt or a dash of dry sherry to my bowl of soup.


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