I, too, do not soak the peas overnight, but I usually start with hot water and cook it on High for the first 6 hours. The thickness of this can vary quite a lot. If it's getting near serving time and it seems too thin, I hit it with the immersion blender. If that doesn't do the trick, I add instant mashed potato flakes--plain or flavored (like loaded mashed potatoes, four cheese, or whatever). It thickens the mixture beautifully and doesn't hurt the flavor at all. If anything, the flavored kinds are actually pretty tasty add-ons. My father *loves* this recipe. Every time I cook a ham, the leftovers are inevitably destined for the crock pot.
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I, too, do not soak the peas overnight, but I usually start with hot water and cook it on High...