In the long suffering dignity of Depression Era shanty town cooking, soup kitchens and beaneries, I offer this special San Francisco Bay Area rendition of a classic cheap family meal. As you know, California was the scene of some tough times in the 30’s and knows a thing or two about hardship. This family meal offered in honor of, and courtesy of, Nancy Pelosi and her budget busting “we’ll have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it” approach to governing.
1 lb bag of dried green split peas
1 smoked ham hock (for bankers, politicians, and union bosses)
2 cups total diced onion, carrot, celery
1 clove diced garlic
2 tsp chicken base or 2 chicken bouillon cubes (*)
2 tsp beef base or 2 beef bouillon cubes (*)
7 cups water
ground black pepper to taste
(*) low sodium if on a sodium restricted diet
In a 4qt pot, put the ham hock and water to boiling. You can skim the foam or not, this isn’t a clear soup so it’s not really worth the effort. Once boiling, add all the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for one hour. If you are wealthy enough to afford the ham hock, pick all good meat off the bone, discard the bone/etc, and return the meat to the soup. Continue simmering, stirring every 10 minutes, for about another hour. Taste and adjust seasoning, feel free to add whatever pleases you. When the peas and vegetables have all dissolved into a smooth soup, you are ready to feed your family.
If you are a beret-wearing, shoe-throwing, cigarette-smoking, wine-drinking, universal-coverage/single-payer French Communist, you can run this through a strainer, food mill, or immersion blender.
If guests show up, add some water and chicken/beef base to accommodate. Serve with bread and sliced tomatoes, or whatever you have in the garden/pantry. Feeds a family of four for $10.
Thanks to Speaker Pelosi and her healthcare bill, we are all going to have the chance to renew the family bonds that have so weakened during our period of unbridled prosperity after WWII. Once the reality of the federal fiscal situation begins to sink in, families will have the chance to spend far more quality time around the dinner table, discussing how those rich folks who can afford a ham hock are enjoying life. In the meantime, enjoy good food with your family.
G’day all, and may God continue to bless America!
PS: If you want to make sure it’s not just the bankers, politicans, and union bosses who get a ham hock in their soup, support Dana Walsh in her effort to retire Nancy “Pelosiville” Pelosi: http://www.danawalshforcongress.com/