Memories of my grandmother and sifting through the fragments I have left of her, led to this story authored at Cowbird (not sure how well it embeds, testing it now…)

Update Jan 6, 2013 My sister had a copy of the recipe, thanks Harriet! Look at my little rebel jewish grandmother, making soup with a ham bone.

Grandma’s Split Pea Soup

1 bag dried split peas (1 lb.)
1 ham bone or several ham hocks
1 package Onion soup mix
Salt and Pepper
Hot dogs (optional)
Sherry (optional)

  1. Wash and drain split peas.
  2. Put peas and ham bone (or ham hocks) in a large pot.
  3. Fill with water 3/4 full and cook 1 hour.
  4. Slice carrots and celery tops (I start at the leafy end and just slice across the whole celery into 1/4 inch slices.) Add to soup.
  5. Add onion soup mix.
  6. Let cook until peas dissolve (about 1 hour.)
  7. Remove the bones.
  8. Add sliced hot dogs and let simmer for about 15 more minutes (optional.)
  9. Add salt and pepper to your taste preference.
  10. Add a teaspoon of sherry to each serving bowl (optional.)

Note: Grandma used to also add egg drops by mixing together an egg with a little flour and dribbling it slowly into the hot soup while cooking. I’ve had minimal success with this. The egg drops just always seem to dissolve and not stay together. Good luck!

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Alan
    Thanks for sharing, the story was very special to me. My grandmother is 96 and the stories she can tell of her life are amazing.

    Peace and Love

    Ron and Jonathan

  2. Thanks Alan for this lovely story – it was very interesting. FWIW I think that the ?? word in your grandfather’s letter is an inventive spelling of inveigled. I also have a good Pea and Ham soup recipe if you are interested. The core is the stock and I use Ham hock (not sure what you call that in USA) but it’s cheap an tasty, available from good pork butchers.
    Family recipes are real threads with the past – we use my mother’s Angel Pie meringue recipe that betrays her Scottish roots by using yolks and whites of eggs – no waste you see!

    1. I think you are correct, Francis, on the word sleuthing– though I had to look up the definition for “inveigled” it fits in context.

      My sister did have a copy of the recipe (and it did use ham hock) which I need to add to this post. Yes I’d live to see yours as well; it’s interesting to see the subtle variations in recipes, as well as the stories behind them as in your yolky meringue.

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