Happy February!

I finally have a few minutes to sit down to write again.  The last two weeks have been busy.  In addition my full time work as a home hospice nurse that sadly includes at least 30 minutes each way commute, I taught 4 yoga classes, attended choral evensong twice, a special mass once, and had Tom and Beau here for 5 days. The yoga was fun although a challenge.  I have not taught in a long time, and these classes were part of the grief program at work, so the students were primarily new to yoga and not your usual students.  Think using a chair as a prop and you get the idea.  I had fun planning the classes and the students seemed to enjoy it. Several asked me where I teach regularly as they would attend.  Something to think about....

I also went to Clover to see my cousin's little boy play basketball and have a nice family lunch with the whole crowd.  We had such a good time visiting around the lunch table, and eating lots of good food.  Here's Jacob getting ready to start the game.  He is so cute, and a good basketball player, even though he's still waiting on a growth spurt! 

The choral evensong is one of my favorite things about St. Timothy's.  As a whole, the music at St. Timothy's is absolutely gorgeous, and Evensong has hymns that i just love.  Here is my favorite...

By the way, if you read  my posts from an email, these embedded videos won't work.  You need to click over to my website and then they will play.  As I mentioned Tom and Beau were here for a little visit.  I had to work but we still enjoyed the visit.  We took Beau to walk over at Salem Lake and of course he got to swim.  You can't keep that dog out of water.  Here are a few photos.  It was such a beautiful afternoon.  I need to remember to go over there to walk more.  Can't wait for the daylight to last longer!

The weather here has been crazy.  We've had quite a few days with weather in the 60s, but then a few days later the low will be 25.  The poor plants just don't know what to do.  All my daffodils started coming up a couple of weeks ago and this week a few bloomed! 

This is so random, but can you believe the size of this cat?  He lives at one of the nursing homes where I went to see a patient for a nurse who needed some help.  He was sleeping in the manager's office so I couldn't get too close, but wow! 

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And since this is intended to be a blog about more than just ramblings about my life, I have a soup for you.  As usual my soups are a little thick so this is kind of like a stew.  I made this right around the new year, and it is delicious....black eyed peas with sweet potatoes and lots of collards.  It is really warming, very nutritious, and perfect for the colder days of winter.  I topped it with some croutons I made with leftover rosemary sourdough bread. The croutons aren't in the recipe but they are simple.  Just cut leftover bread of any type into cubes.  Drizzle with some olive oil, then toss with a good sprinkling of dried herbs. I used thyme, and sage since my bread was rosemary. I also added red pepper flakes, a few grinds of pepper and a big pinch of kosher salt.  Mix it all together, put in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 until they are browned, dry, and crisp, about 20 - 30 minutes. I ate as many straight from the container as I did on my soup!  The soup is also really easy.  If you use canned black eyed peas it will cook really quickly.  Mine were "fresh" from the grocery store, but really were dried that they had already soaked.  I hope you'll try it. 

And lastly before the recipe, here is a picture of the kitties.  They surely were happy when Beau went home! 

Black Eyed Pea and Collard Stew

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Keywords: soup/stew gluten-free vegan vegetarian greens black eyed peas collard greens winter

Ingredients (6 - 8 servings)

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups black eyed peas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 12 grinds black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 cups broth or water, or any combination of the two
  • 1 bunch of collards, stems removed

Instructions

In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat until glistening. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Saute about 5 minutes until tender and starting to brown.

Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook for one minute.

Add the carrots, sweet potato, peas and all seasonings. Mix well. Add the broth and turn heat to high.

While soup is coming to a boil, stack your collard leaves. Roll into a large cigar like roll and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices. Cut in half cross ways.

When the soup comes to a boil, add the collards and stir to combine.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the peas are tender.

Remove the bay leaves. Serve topped with croutons if desired.

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