Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Pea soup with bacon, croutons, and mint. Served with a side of grilled cheese.
Pea soup. What are those two little dudes on the Andersen’s billboards names? I’ve seen them up and down the 101 since I was a kid. They’re funny because the billboards are hundreds of miles from the restaurant. “105 miles ahead!” I thought the billboards were retarded and pea soup was disgusting, but goddamn if those two little fuckers didn’t make me want some pea soup. The power of advertising. From Andersen’s website:
“Robert [Andersen’s owner] commissioned Disney-trained artist Milt Neil to re-draw the two cartoon chefs to use for promotion and they became Pea Soup Andersen's trademark The big fellow is shown having all the fun and the easy side of the work, as the little one holds the chisel, looking sad and a bit frightened, always in danger of the big mallet. A contest was held and from thousands of entries the names Hap-pea and Pea-Wee were chosen.”
I got the Pea-Wee part right. I thought the other one was named Sweet Pea. Whatever. They’re fags.
But it’s that time of year when the sky turns a flinty grey, and the light seems dim and murky, and the air is crisp and chilled. It’s the time when you want to throw some wood on the fire and curl up on the couch with a hot cup of cocoa and good book. Except I hate cocoa. “How about a bowl of pea soup, David?” Oh, yes, thank you, I would like that very much. And a glass of wine. Leave the bottle. Thank you.
As much as Tania hates winter, I think she enjoys winter foods more than any other. She gets really excited this time of year and starts blathering about stews, and pot pies, and soups. I have never been a soup person, but Tania is slowly changing that. In part because soup is fun to make because it’s so damn easy. I’m retarded, so if something’s easy to make, it makes me feel like a genius. And it doesn’t get much easier than pea soup.
Tania's pea soup.
Half a bag of peas.
Rinse the peas and pick out any bad ones. Cut up your bacon and cook it in the bottom of the pot you’re going to make the soup in. Remove bacon, set aside. Leave fat in pot. Cook the onion down, then add the garlic, carrot, bay leaf, and celery (it can all be loosely chopped because you’re going to puree it at the end). Once cooked down, add the peas, ham hock (we found if you slit the skin of the ham hock, it imparts more flavor), and water to cover. Simmer ‘til the peas are cooked, about an hour. Remove the bay leaves, and get out “the boat motor” (or food processor) and puree. Serve with bacon bits and a dollop of sour cream.
(I sent the above to Tania for approval, and here are her comments: "More like 3/4 bag of peas, but no big deal. Water, I put in 8 cups for approximately 12 - 16 oz of peas. Mint for the top, if you swing that way. I don't like tooth paste for dinner (not to be confused with toothpastefordinner.com, which I like quite a bit). I add some additional seasoning; thyme, sage, onion/garlic powder, celery salt, etc... and my universal secret: chicken powder. But otherwise, it's a pretty basic recipe. Oh! My secret, also, this time was a WEEEEEEE bit of cayenne for a little background heat. Next time I'm gonna spice it up with hot sauce instead to see which I like better.")
My pee soup. (That's Morrissey's toilet, by the way.)
We made grilled cheese sandwiches with ours and retired to the couch to, not read a book, but watch a movie. We watched Christopher Guest’s last offering For Your Consideration. It’s worth renting, but I found it to be his weakest offering yet. As you may know, I hate movies, and this was a movie about a movie. Double bad. Plus, making fun of Hollywood just seems too easy for Guest. I’m more interested in dog shows. But his characters, and the people that play them, are great in any situation and they’re enough of a reason to give it a look-see.
That might be the first movie I’ve ever reviewed. What the hell? Well, that just goes to show that pea soup makes everything good.
Posted by Bozo Monkey Bear III