We’re 3-weeks in & it’s been an interesting start to the year. The political mess and COVID-19 continues to top the news. It’s been cold and cloudy in Indianapolis this past 2 weeks and we finally got some measurable snow! It’s either going to be another “mild” winter or we’re in for something big. Only time will tell. I just put some 3-Peak rated tires on the Subaru so I could go for a big snowstorm right about now.
Some really great football games on last weekend and the CFB national championship goes to Alabama! It was looking like it was going to be a good game at first but Ohio State just couldn’t keep up. Just a few more weekends and the NFL will be over too… BUT NASCAR starts on February 14th! (and we always have soccer).
Do you eat in your car often? I saw this device being used by a mobile food reviewer and had to have it (especially since it’s only $12!). – Laptop Steering Wheel Desk It works surprisingly well and helps the crumbs & sauces off your lap.
Total Wine & More opened a new store in Nora mid-November (first one in the Indianapolis region) and if you haven’t checked it out you should! It’s one of the largest liquor stores I’ve ever been in and it’s designed very well. Crowds have been heavy but there’s plenty of room to move about and keep your distance from others. If you’re a wine or Bourbon fan you’re sure to find something you like there.
Tried a new recipe this week (Mushroom Bourguignon) and it was a huge hit. There is a lot of prep but the cooking goes pretty fast. Probably something to fix on a weekend and enjoy throughout the week. Looks like the recipe I used from NYT Cooking is behind a paywall but this one is pretty similar.
Remix of a 2020 YouTube hit. That cat cracks me up!
Just an observation… I’ve been blogging for a while and I’ve covered a lot of content. I find it interesting that the most viewed post on IndyScan (12,867 views since it was published in 2010) is my recipe for Marsala Sauce! It doesn’t even show up on the top-5 pages in Google but people still seem to find it with regularity.
This is one of the first weekends this summer I’ve spent the majority of my time inside. Between the cycling, kayaking and fishing it’s been a wonderfully busy summer and it passed by quickly. So here we are during the first weekend of FALL and the temps are in the 90’s. I thought I’d share some updates about what’s been going on.
I found a box of Pearl Sugar in the pantry the other day & decided to break out the waffle iron for another round of Liege Waffles. I wrote about these back in 2011 and they are worth the effort. My only caution is they will gum up your waffle iron with caramelized sugar. Cleanup is best done after things have cooled down so the hardened sugar can be chipped off.
After spending a lot of time riding the Monon trail these past few months I decided to mount my little GoPro Session to the handle bars and start recording some of the ridiculous stuff seem to encounter every ride. I’ll post some video after my next ride.
On the Podcast front I’ve discovered several new ones this summer. The ones I found to be the most entertaining are:
Countdown – Detailed stories about 10 of the most incredible space missions during the race to the moon 50-years ago. Lots of NASA audio recordings and interviews make it a very well produced podcast from Time Magazine.
After driving near this place for years I finally stopped in the little town of Brookville Indiana and checked out the amazing Brookville Reservoir. We spent several weekends this summer kayaking and fishing this place and absolutely love it.
Brookville has a great tail water below the dam that’s stocked with rainbow and brown trout. When the conditions are right it’s an awesome place to fly fish. The reservoir itself has a lot of bass and other native Indiana species. We’ve had success fishing from the bank and from the kayaks. Since it’s only a 90-minute drive from home it’s an easy place to go for a day trip.
I’m looking forward to more beautiful weather this fall. I need a few more weekends on the water and bike before packing everything up for the winter!
Even though we’ve had an incredibly mild winter I still can’t help but want some of the comfort foods that go along with this time of year. This is a classic rendition of that childhood favorite (at least mine anyway). It’s simple to prepare and any leftovers will freeze and reheat well.
Split Pea Soup w/ Ham
1 Pound dried split peas
1 Smoked ham hock
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 Cup finely chopped celery
1/2 Cup finely chopped carrots
2 Teaspoons minced garlic
1 Pound Smithfield ham, chopped
1 Teaspoon salt
3/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 Cups water
1 Bay leaf
2 Teaspoons fresh thyme
Place the peas in a large pot or bowl, cover with water by 2 inches and soak 8 hours or overnight.
Drain the peas and set aside.
Score the ham hock. Place in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add the celery and carrots and cook, stirring, until just soft, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Add the ham hock and ham and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown.
Add the drained peas, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
Add 8 cups of water, the bay leaf and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, about 1 hour. (Add more water as needed, if the soup becomes too thick or dry.)
Remove the bay leaf and discard. Adjust the seasoning, to taste, and serve immediately.
Optional – Top with homemade croutons and/or crumbled bacon!
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