Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 31, 2016

MVNews this week:  Page A:3


Mountain View News Saturday, December 31, 2016 

Walking Sierra Madre…The Social Side 

by Deanne Davis

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best 
day in the year.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

 “Let our New Year’s resolution be this: We will 
be there for one another as fellow members of 
humanity in the finest sense of the word.” Goran 

 The Sierra Madre Snowman is huge this year 
and, as it’s cold, he’s stayed in good shape for 
several days. He’s quite handsome, too! I’m never 
sure who to thank for that guy, but whoever you 
are out there with very cold hands, thank you! 
Santa Anita opened last Monday and our very 
own Sierra Madre jockey, Victor Espinoza, is 
riding all sorts of horses. Let’s wish him luck, 
success and no injuries for this whole meet. 

 Tomorrow is the first day of 2017. Hard to 
believe. Looking back over the past year, we 
think it was pretty good. Hope yours was, too. We 
went to more baby events and children’s birthday 
parties than funerals and we’ve learned to enjoy 
the Chuck E. Cheese birthday party, with pizza 
and soft drinks for the kids, vast quantities of 
tokens to play all the games and parents taking 
thousands of phone pictures. OK, grandparents, 
too. The kids who work at Chuck E. Cheese as 
birthday party wranglers are indefatigable and 
beyond nice to everyone. Besides, if your little 
person has their party at Chuck E. you don’t have 
to clean house afterwards. No chocolate frosting 
on your white couch. Seriously! No downside at 
all! Just saying….

 “Your success and happiness lies in you. 
Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you 
shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” 
Helen Keller

 Many people like to start their New Year’s 
with black-eyed peas, a Southern tradition for 
good luck and prosperity, but my family likes 
to kick off the New Year with Split Pea Soup. 
Easy to make, do it ahead of time, and if you’ve 
planned ahead, you can make enough to keep 
hungry teen-agers happy all day long. You can 
double and triple this recipe with great success, 
if your pot is big enough.

Split Pea Soup

1 package split peas (these are found in the 
market aisle where rice, noodles, beans, etc. are 

4 ham hocks (usually packaged 2 to a package 
in the meat section) or a ham shank, or the ham 
bone left over from Christmas.

3 medium-size onions – actually there’s no such 
thing as too much onion!

6-7 good size carrots (or a package of baby 

1 good size bunch of celery



Split pea soup is an opportunity to creatively 
express yourself. There are few rules, just a few 

 Get out that really large pot and put the ham 
hocks or the ham bone in the bottom. Throw 
the peas on top of that, followed by the onions, 
carrots and celery which you’ve washed and 
cut into big chunks. Cover all this with water, 
or a combination of water and chicken broth. 
Say about 8-12 cups of water. Season with salt 
and pepper and whatever else you like. If you’re 
partial to thyme, put some in there. Or Mrs. 

 Cover your pot and put in the oven at about 
300 degrees. Leave it in there for about six hours, 
or till the peas have become very tender. Take it 
out and let the mixture cool to where you can 
handle it without burning yourself. Take out the 
ham hocks or ham bone and set them (it) aside.

 Assemble your blender and blend your 
lukewarm soup/veggie mixture into a smooth 
puree. Put this into a large container with a 
cover, like your crock pot. When all your soup 
is pureed, remove whatever meat is on your 
ham hocks or ham bone, tossing out all fat and 
other non-meaty parts and put the meat back 
into your soup. Refrigerate. Let it sit for a day or 
so to develop flavor, reheat it and stand back so 
the hungry relatives don’t run over you as they 
rush to grab a bowl of the best split pea soup 
anywhere. You could make some cornbread or 
corn muffins to go with your soup and everyone 
who has some will love you forever, getting your 
New Year off to a great start!

 Happy New Year, dear Walking Sierra Madre 
friends. Hope to see you out and about in 2017.


 My book page: Deanne Davis


 “A Tablespoon of Love, A Tablespoon of 
Laughter” is available from me!

 Kindle readers, give yourself the gift of Star of 
Wonder – A Christmas Story

It’s on on my book page!

 Follow me on Twitter, too! https://twitter.

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