It is so hot here in Florida today.
It has been so hot here in Florida……Whew! I had to make myself go outside to the Secret Garden to water my plants in pots.
The sun was shining bright and no sign of rain which happens a lot at my house…..although earlier today, there were cloudy and gloomy skies in other parts of our city as I ran my errands.
Here, in Florida, rain could be in the forecast….but the rain cell “splits”….and leaves us high and dry in the middle.
Have you ever had that happen where you live?
Sooooo I decided to water just in case it didn’t rain, although the sweat dripping from every pore of my body could have been a sprinkler for my plants.
But then you know what happened…of course it rained…..but now the sun is shining again.
And the plants in my pots are happy.
Speaking of pots.
Growing up in the Midwest, Mondays were wash day…yes, in those days, one day was devoted to washing, drying and ironing clothes…..and my Mother always had a pot of Ham and Bean Soup simmering on the stove.
An Easy meal for a very busy day! The beans swell up and the skins get sort of crinkly before they become a smooth white bean.
By the way, if there were a lot of clothes to iron, they were sprinkled down with water from a capped Coca Cola bottle…. and rolled up and placed in a basket to be ironed on Tuesday. I did not grow up with permanent press until my high school years … and Mother had me ironing shirts, jeans, and linens! If I was at grandma’s house…we ironed sheets and pillowcases. I always loved sleeping on those crisp ironed sheets.
But not enough to starch and iron them these days…..;(
If you lived in the Midwest, Ham and Beans was a staple…A perfect meal for a busy day.
The beans must be picked,…no I don’t mean go to the garden and pick the beans, although I have done that many times….we always had green beans to pick in the garden.
No, I am talking about picking dried beans from the bag you buy at the grocery store.
I usually “pick” the beans that are in the bag, by spilling them on the counter….(this time it is ok to “spill the beans” 😉
And… using my fingers I move the beans around the counter, discarding any beans that are discolored or any little rocks that happen to have been packed with the beans. This is called “picking”. I have done it so many times that I can do it quickly…sort of like counting and separating pennies, dimes and nickels. 😉
This should be done with any dried bean. Never just dump dried beans from the package into a pan without picking or rinsing…you never know what you might bite down on! 😉
After “picking” the beans, I put the “good beans” in a colander and rinse well. Then I add the beans to a pot of water.
My Mother and Grandmothers’ usually served Ham and Beans with home made cornbread or home made dinner rolls.
I love them served both ways and have continued the tradition with my family. This is a meal all by itself!
To cut down on prep time, I use a pressure cooker. The Ham and Beans are done in about 30 minutes…the traditional way takes about 3-5 hours and the pot must be watched or you will have burnt beans.
Not that I haven’t burnt the beans a time or two….! 🙂 I think most cooks have made a dash to the kitchen to check the beans and add more water, only to find the beans are scorched on the bottom. A pressure cooker is fail proof in the regard.
A slow Cooker can also be used….just plan ahead and cook the beans for about 8 hours. Any bean can be substituted for Navy Beans….Pinto Beans, Black Beans, Lima Beans….
These days we do laundry as needed…not on a certain day.
Did your mom have a certain day to do laundry? Tell me about it, please.
And guess what??
It’s raining again.
Have a great day….no matter the weather.
- 1 pound dried Great Northern beans
- 2 pounds smoked ham hocks, (or leftover ham, chopped in pieces)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- black pepper
- In large heavy soup pot, combine beans and 2 1/2 quarts water.
- Discard any beans that float to the surface. (see note below regarding the picking of beans)
- Bring to a boil, cover, leaving lid ajar to prevent boil over.
- Continue to boil 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow pot to stand, covered 1 hour.
- Add ham hocks, onion, garlic; cover and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours.
- Continue simmering, at least 1 hour or longer until the beans are tender.
- Remove ham hocks, separate meat from fat and bones.
- Dice the ham and return to soup.
- Discard fat and bones.
- Season to taste with black pepper and more salt if needed.
- I usually "pick" the beans by opening the bag, and spilling them on the counter...I then use my fingers to move the beans around, discarding any beans that are discolored or any little rocks that happen to have been packed with the beans. This is called "picking". This should be done with any dried bean. Never just dump dried beans from the package without "picking" or rinsing...you never know what you might bite down on! 😉
- After "picking" the beans, I put the "good beans" in a colander and rinse well. Then I add the beans to a pot of water.
- You may also add a variation by adding one or all of the following veggies... 1 large potato, pared & cubed, 2 ribs celery, finely chopped, and1 large carrot, shredded.
- In the Midwest, My Mother and Grandmothers made Ham and Beans regularly. They usually served them with home made cornbread or home made dinner rolls. I love them served both ways and have continued the tradition with my family.
- To cut down on prep time, I use a pressure cooker. The Ham and Beans are done in about 30 minutes...the traditional way takes about 3-5 hours and the pot must be watched or you will have burnt beans. Not that I haven't burnt the beans a time or two.... 🙂 I think most cooks have made a dash to the kitchen to check the beans and add more water, only to find the beans are scorched on the bottom. A pressure cooker is fail proof in the regard. A slow Cooker works well too. Any type of bean works, Pinto, Black, Lima...all good beans with Ham.