Some epic fails and Pea and Ham Soup

December 31, 2013

pea and ham soup ingredientsWhen my friend Bunny Eats Design posted some old photos of the beginning of her food blogging and photography recently-ish it was really cool to see how far she’d come.

As with most things in life, the more you do something the better you become. I could really see her progression and now I really love her food photography.

When I first started mine was trés ordinaire. I’m not proposing for a minute to be amazeballs, but I can see that I’ve improved no end.

yoghurt chicken

Hello, bad food photography.

Lord knows I’ve had enough practice. Especially after that little camera setting balls up that required me to shoot EVERYTHING again for the book.

I’ve had quite a bit of practice all round really in the past year.

I wanted to wrap the year up by letting y’all know that my kitchen is far from mishap free. If you think that it’s all Martha Stewart, or Jamie Oliver over here at Chez Holsby you’d be sorely mistaken.

You see I’m as busy and preoccupied, and in demand by my kids as you guys, so I too forget about things in the oven, on the stove, or sometimes I just plain old balls it up.

Initially my idea was to never ever let on that I am a mere mortal and not Super Woman but I think you may find this slightly more entertaining.

The fail list.

One of my biggest issues is doing too many things at once so I have boiled over custard for ice-cream about 5 times, and caramel for toffee at least once. That ain’t easy to clean up, let me tell you.

ice cream custard all ver the stove

Sweet, sticky mess. I considered squeezing it back in but figured there was probably remnants of meals past. Ew.

I also tend to try to lick toffee or praline or any kind of molten sugar which removes your fingerprint on contact and is so hot that sticking it in your mouth is something only someone very special would do.

I’m very special.

The Turkish Delight muffins? Epic fail.

Over cooked, dusty and the Turkish Delight didn’t melt. It stayed in one little hard cube in the middle of the muffin that wanted a puff of dust as you bit into it.

Couldn’t even give them to any of the neighbourhood chilluns.

My first attempt at sushi was ok…my second? That sucked balls.

failed sushi

WTF happened here? Too much liquid? Heavy hand? Poor ravaged sushi.

Remember the Jamie Oliver 30 Minute Meal experiment? The food was delicious but holy shimoly the kitchen looked like a bomb hit it.

Like seriously. Sweet potato on the floor, on my Ugg Boot and all over the counter.

sweet potato currently on counter, soon to be floorWhere am I going with this?

Basically, don’t be afraid to make mistakes in the kitchen. No effort is wasted as we are always learning and growing in our culinary journeys…. much like life.

Life is messy and we balls it up sometimes.

Get on with it.

Also, I’m just setting you up to let you know this soup is ugly.

Try as I might, I could not make Pea and Ham Soup look pretty.

D Man calls it Troll Snot Soup and you know, he’s about right….. but damn, it’s so tasty and couldn’t be easier. The main ingredient here is time.

I used my Christmas ham bone but you just buy a pork hock. I had a 6kg pig at Christmas and we had pretty much eaten most of the meat. I cut as much of remaining meat off and cut it fine and chucked it in the mix.

What you will need :

  • Ham bone or hock with some meat still on
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2-3 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped
  • 600g green split peas
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or chicken stock powder
  • salt and pepper

What you will need to do :

Throw your bone into a big pot and cover with water.

Toss everything else in, bring to boil and reduce heat, putting it on a heat diffuser if necessary.

Stick a lid on it and ignore the crap out of it for at least an hour and a half.

Give it a stir occasionally. If you need more water, add it.

When the meat is falling off the bone and everything is all mushed together and soupy, season generously and you’re pretty much done.

pea and ham soup

Wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year and I can’t wait to see where 2014 takes us all!

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  • Reply Amanda @ Cooker and a Looker December 31, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Love it Mrs H. When I look back on my first attempts at food photography, I wonder why anyone kept reading. Then I remember, my Mum made them! Happy New Year love. xx

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys December 31, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Your mum took the pics or made the recipes? Either way, how awesome are mums?? Mine is still my biggest fan. Weirds me out when she’s at my dining table eating breakfast, not talking to me cos she’s reading the day’s post!!

      Sent from my iPhone


  • Reply Sam Stone (@A Life on Venus) December 31, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I love pea and ham soup. I think your first attempts at food photography aren’t too bad. I tried once – god awful!

  • Reply ksbeth December 31, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    hey, donald trump went bankrupt numerous times, i’m just saying….. happy new year to you and yours ) beth

  • Reply Nina January 1, 2014 at 12:58 am

    I love this Danielle! So good to see honest photos and kitchen mishaps out there too. Rest assured that your first tries at food photography are still better than any photo I would be doing now lol 🙂

  • Reply Bunny Eats Design July 14, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Nice troll snot soup 🙂 Great for this weather we’re having.

    Thanks for the mention. I remember when we were frustrated at all our rejections on TasteGawker sites but we’ve have come a long long way together…praise you!!!

    Many of my creations in the kitchen are mistakes. Luckily, I have a husband that will anything. If I didn’t have him, I’d get a pup.

    I don’t think you can use Martha Stewart as inspiration. Not when these photos exist: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelzarrell/someone-needs-to-tell-martha-stewart-her-food-tweets-are-dis

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