Many years ago, I was a Brownie leader. Frankly, I sucked, so I only served one term.
I knew I was in trouble when I attended my first Council meeting. As the various other leaders shared projects that they had accomplished with their troops, they each took a bead from a box in the center of the table. I watched, mystified, as they strung their beads onto larger necklaces, and then donned the necklaces. Ahh, it clicked. It was a competition to see who had the biggest necklaces (and had thus put their troops through the most activities). I had the immediate realization that (a) I would never own one of these necklaces and (b) my troop would probably be henceforth known as the slacker troop. I was okay with that.
Sensing that I was a slacker mom, they also sandbagged me with an "Assistant." Being someone who is a control freak and despises teamwork, I really hated the idea. Little did I know, I would come to hate it even more. The Assistant, also a mom, was mis-named, "Joy." She was anything but. As I came to find out, she was a giant (and I meant that literally) pain in the ass who had repeatedly requested her own troop -- but for reasons which became obvious, the Council would not grant her request. Not only did she instantly alienate all of the children, but began to call me. Every day. These were the days before caller i.d., and I would dread answering the phone. Every day: "Hello, this is Jo-oooy . . . ". It was miserable, and I knew that as soon as I could unload my cookies I'd be a goner.
To get to the point of this story: There was one meeting that was great. We were playing some bonding game where, seated in a circle, each child told what her favorite food was. We came to Jana, a darling girl who rarely spoke. She was also missing her two front teeth. Me: "What is your favorite food, Jana?" She replied, "Thplit Pea Thoup."
Talk about adorable.
It's a rainy day today, and thlpit pea thoup thounded pretty good. Here is my rethipe, adapted from Epicuriouth.com.
Jana's Thlpit Pea Thoup (adapted from epicurious.com)
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
2. tsp marjoram
1 1/2 pounds smoked pork hocks
1 1/2 cups split peas
8 cups water
Melt the butter; add olive oil. Saute' vegetables and shallot until they begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add marjoram. Place pork hocks on vegetables. Add split peas, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook on medium heat for about an hour and ten minutes. Remove hocks from soup; reserve. Puree soup, in small batches; return to pot. Pull meat off of hocks and dice; add back to pot. Re-heat and serve. Season with salt and pepper.