Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Frozen Fog Drive and Thick as Fog Split Pea Soup

Yesterday I took a nice drive just outside of town and down by the river to check out the beautiful frozen fog  that had turned everything around us into the most beautiful winter scene.

For about a week we have been surrounded by a thick fog, this has been the view outside my back window.
Although I do miss the sun breaks, I really do enjoy fog, and always have.

When the kids were little I would always play one of my favorite Celtic/Bagpipe Band's Album that I acquired at the Portland Scottish Highland Games when we saw them perform at the games years ago.  The group is called  Wicked Tinkers, and the CD is called Banger for Breakfast, you can follow my Amazon link below to hear some samples of their music.  Song number seven, Belly Dance and Hornpipes, was one of our favorites and we often would play it in the car while driving around the foggy countryside, so the song became known to us as Fog Music.  Whenever it was foggy we had to play our fog music, so now, every time I am driving in the fog I remember our times of listening to "fog music" when the kids were little.

                                                                 Banger for Breakfast

We often have fog around here, but it doesn't usually freeze like this, it is really delicate, not like snow or freezing rain, but like delicate icy crystals.  The first stop on our drive was one of our local parks, the trees were beautiful!

Here is a close up of the fence, you can really see the unique ice crystals.

Here is a picture of the sun trying its best to peak through the gray sky.

Then we made our way just outside of town toward the river, here are some of the trees along the way.

I had to pull over and try and get a few shots of the road we were driving down, the white trees almost looked like spring blossoms, it was magical.

I thought this old barn was beautiful with the trees in the back and white covered branches in the front.

Finally we walked down by the river, the trees along the river were so pretty, I love coming down here to take in the view!

We decided to check out the view of the river from the bridge, so we pulled off to the side, I was a little hesitant to walk over the bridge, but couldn't resist the view.  As we made our way over the bridge I got a couple pictures of some logging trucks, against the wintery background I think they looked pretty cool.

The view from the bridge was amazing, my little camera doesn't do it justice, but looking down the river was just beautiful.

We took in the view on one side of the bridge...

The we crossed over to the other side of the bridge.

When we were done checking out the river, we took back roads home to see more of the countryside.  I loved all the cattle grazing in the foggy fields.

Closer to home, we pulled over to get a picture of this little silo behind the trees.

Then this red barn among the trees.

Every other second there was a beautiful new view, it was a wonderful drive!

This was a particularly stunning tree standing by itself out in the middle of a field.

Last we pulled in a couple blocks behind our house, to a field of Christmas trees, the tops of them all covered in white frozen fog.

This was such a wonderful drive, absolutely beautiful!  I am glad we went when we did, a few hours later it started to warm up, and a lot of the frozen fog melted.

Today the rain is back, but I was inspired by yesterday's fog to make Thick as Fog Split Pea Soup.  We all love soup around here, just about any kind.  Here's how I made today's soup.

Thick as Fog Pea Soup

1 pound dry green split peas
One bunch of celery chopped into small pieces
One large onion chopped
half a bag of frozen crinkle cut carrots (or fresh sliced carrots if that is what you have, I always use frozen crinkle cut carrots in my soup, it saves a lot of peeling and chopping time)
about 12 cups of water
either a ham hock or a box of chicken broth ( I didn't have a ham hock so I used a box of chicken broth from the pantry)
1 teaspoon of liquid smoke, if you don't have a ham hock, (you can find it by the spices and flavoring or possible the BBQ sauce)
salt, pepper, Italian herbs blend (or your favorite blend of herbs), a dash of garlic powder if desired
a couple tablespoons of olive oil
One package of cooked and crumbled bacon

First saute the chopped celery and onions in olive oil until onions are translucent, then add carrots, and chicken broth or ham hock, and about 8 cups of water, and salt, pepper and herbs to taste.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for about an hour and a half, stir it occasionally.  Then sort and wash dried peas and add to the soup, you can add a couple more cups of water at this point, continue to simmer and stir occasionally, make sure it doesn't get too hot, once the peas get soft they will stick to the bottom easily.  After about an hour add more herbs and spice to taste, and if you are not using a ham hock add a teaspoon of liquid smoke.  Keep stirring occasionally, add more water as needed, and continue to check the flavoring, as it cooks you may need to add more salt, pepper and herbs, I usually add flavoring a few times during the cooking of any soup. If you are using a ham hock, toward the end of cooking remove ham hock, let it cool a bit then remove any meat and add it back to the soup.  Cook for another 2-3 hours until peas are thoroughly cooked and incorporated into the soup.  Serve with crumbled bacon on top, this soup is delicious served with fresh sour dough bread and butter. The whole family really enjoyed our Thick as Fog Split Pea Soup.

I hope everyone is having a nice week.  Thanks for reading!


  1. How very, very beautiful, April! We had the same sort of weather here.

  2. Beautiful photos...and I love pea of my favorite soups!



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