Squirreling Away


I found myself harvesting oregano, sage, and thyme…taking cuttings from the plants outside and hanging them inside to dry…like a squirrel hiding away goodies for tomorrow. When the days are colder and the herb plants are resting underground, I can still enjoy their flavor. I was inspired to bring in the cuttings when I realized I needed thyme for my home-made split pea soup, but didn’t have any dried in the cabinet. I made a double batch of soup, imagining how tasty it would be on a cold evening not so long from now. Yes, today was a day of squirreling away. I enjoyed the wonderful smells each time I came in from outside (where I spent the afternoon working in the yard – but, no, I was not digging holes in the ground to plant nuts).

Split Pea Soup


  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 pound of dried split peas
  • 2 medium onions (diced)
  • 2 medium carrots (sliced into thin rounds)
  • 1 large potato (cooked and mashed, or shredded raw)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Ham (if desired)


  1. Soak peas in water overnight, drain and rinse.
  2. Put peas and water in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Add onions, carrots, potato, thyme, salt and pepper. Add ham, if desired.
  4. Cook on medium for approx 2 hours.

Note: I usually use an extra carrot and twice as much of the spices.

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