I’ve decided to try to get back to blogging this year. I’m going to start out with three days. Monday Munchies, Writerly Wednesday and the MFRW52week blog challenge on Friday. Soon I may incorporate a teaser day as well. Until then you can get updates on my writing progress, teasers, games, character inspirations and even help me name characters and settings in my Facebook group–Cat’s Romance Aholics.
Since it’s been so cold and what is better on a cold day than soup or stew this month I am going to share some soup or stew recipes. Also being a southern girl, beans are on that list. Having a ham bone left from Christmas I thought a nice pot of beans is due.
A cute random bone song that popped into my brain while writing this…
Yesterday I made beans. I always save my ham bone from Christmas and Easter for a batch. (it freezes well) My mom and Grandmother always did and it’s something I followed over the years. One Easter my husband’s girls were all here and the oldest was helping clean the kitchen. She asked where did he want to toss the bone outside or in the trash. He told her we don’t throw that away. SHe was shocked and curious about why so he sent her to me. I explained cooking it in beans or soup. I asked how her mom made beans and she said with water.( wrinkles nose) Even if I don’t have a bone I don’t use just water. Today I will share both my recipes of beans since I don’t always use meat either.
Beans with a ham bone or ham hocks
I don’t have exact measurements as this is more a method than a recipe.
1 pound of beans ( you can use more if you have a large family) ( rinse pic out the trash and bad beans)
2-4 ham hocks or ham bone a smoked turkey leg or thigh is great too.
garlic, chopped onion, salt, pepper, water and my new favorite ingredient…better than Bullion I used one tablespoon of vegetable in this pot of beans. (You can use onion powder or minced onion if you have non-onion eaters in the family) and garlic powder.
Bring beans to a boil, boil ten minutes turn off cover let sit 2-4 hours or overnight. pick any beans off the top. Drain off the water, this helps give you less gas.
Return beans to pot or put in crock pot. Add all the above seasonings and ham bone, or whichever meat you choose. You can use chopped ham if you don’t want to mess with the bones. cover with water I make sure my bones are covered or almost. This is where you taste the water and check the seasoning it should taste close to what you expect your beans to taste but a bit stronger. In an hour check again and add more seasoning if desired. In crock pot cook for two hours on high then check if nearly done turn to low or you can cook all day on low. I’m not that patient. If stove top bring back to a boil simmer for a couple of hours checking to make sure all the liquid doesn’t absorb or cookout. I like my beans bit firm but if you like your soft cook to desired consistency About an hour before time to serve, take out meat let cool, pull off bone add some back if desired. cook about thirty more minutes then turn off and let sit for 20 minutes or so covered. Now make a pot of cornbread and enjoy!
If you want a vegetarian Bean version this is how I make my beans on a more regular basis and it’s almost as tasty as the meat version. My dad had doubts but I won him over.
1 pound of beans
2 cans of vegetable broth or a large box.
2 stalks of Celery, half an onion rough chopped, minced onion or onion powder, garlic or garlic powder better than bullion 2 TBS
This is also very budget friendly.
Rinse and pick over your beans. cover with water, bring to a boil -boil 10 to 20 minutes. turn off cover and let sit 2-4 hours or overnight. Once softened drain water. return to pot or crockpot, cover and add broth. if it doesn’t cover with a couple of inches to spare add a can of water you need plenty to begin cooking. add the 2 TBS of better than bullion and other seasonings. and veggies. ( i wrap the veggies in cheesecloth and tie for easy removal (unless you like a veggie in your, in that case, chop them finely and add) You can add salt and pepper too. Stir well taste the water. if it has a strong veggie taste and just slightly salty your good to go. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 2 hours checking occasionally so the water doesn’t boil out or over absorb. ( burned beans are nasty). I like my beans firmer, if you like yours softer cook longer still watching that your liquid doesn’t boil out. this is a good time to check your seasoning. I like to let mine sit covered about 20 minutes or so before serving. This is a good time to make a pot of cornbread!
Every Sunday we went to my grandmas when I was you our Sunday dinner was Beans, cornbread a green fried or mashed potatoes, Fried chicken or pork chops. and chocolate cake. WHere the meat and potato may vary we knew the beans were always there! Now I’m hungry!
Do you like beans and cornbread? How do you make yours? Do you save those ham bones or smoked turkey wings or legs?
And Always~~if you can dream it you can do it!