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Sunday, September 11, 2011

...beans beans...the wonderful fruit

It seems that there is only SO LONG that we can go without a POT OF RED BEANS.
Wow...we do love 'em.
I don't cook them too often but when I do, I cook enough to put a bag in the freezer. How nice it is when you can just grab them out, put in a pan on the stove, add a little more water, if necessary, and, walla, you are on your way to a rib-stickin' meal.

We LOVE our beans with FRIED potatoes and onions, a nice big green salad, and CORNBREAD drenched in BUTTER.

Mr. Sweet says we are headed to an EARLY GRAVE but we'll have a SMILE ON OUR FACE when we go. silly silly man...
I know a lot of folks cook their beans in a nice large pan, on top of the stove.
I always cook mine in my olden CROCK POT.
Just easier for me that way..
My mother could make the BEST RED BEANS IN TOWN..
Really !
 Ladies would bring their bags of  dried beans to Mom and have her cook them.
Isn't that amazing?
I never, EVER had anyone want ME to cook anything for THEM. :(
Well, ANYway, Mom is the one that taught ME to cook red beans..and I, in turn, have taught
my daughter, STACY LEIGH, to cook them...JUST LIKE HER GRANDMOTHER.
Mother always started her beans in COLD WATER..
cover the beans with the water and let them soak for awhile,UNLESS you are ready to start cooking them "right now.."....which, in that case, you must watch them and add HOT water when needed.
Add lots of BLACK PEPPER
but DO NOT add salt until the beans have cooked to a fairly soft stage.
Adding the salt before then can result in hard beans.
Mom always added a couple tablespoons SUGAR to her beans...and I do too.
 IF you are blessed enough to have saved that big ole HAM BONE aka HAM HOCK
from the last HAM DINNER,
then, baby, you are in for a fabulous POT OF BEANS.
This ham will flavor those little brown, ordinary beans into something that is BOUND to...


IF you don't happen to have a wonderful ham hock in your freezer, don't despair because BACON is another wonderful addition to a pot of beans. If I have bacon that has a little more fat than I like, on either end, I just cut it off to the leaner parts and freeze the fatty parts.......
I fry my bacon ends a bit before adding them to the beans.
No way am I taking a chance that the bacon won't be COMPLETELY done.
I don't like ANY meat, especially chicken or pork, that isn't TOTALLY cooked, thru and thru. ♥♥
 I am sure that I've mentioned before that Mr. Sweet and I like our
SOUTHERN CORNBREAD thin and crispy...really really crispy.
So when I make it, I put it in a LARGE CAST IRON SKILLET so that it spreads out THIN.

When I was growing up, I didn't like cornbread one little bit. My mother made it a lot....but, remembering back now, hers was thick...and altho it always had a crispy bottom, I think the thickness just ruined it for me. 

I grew up on this kind of COUNTRY COOKING..
For some reason, we seldom had BAKED potatoes...
mostly FRIED...or cooked in with the SUNDAY ROAST.

I love fries but I also love baked..  
and I am pretty sure some of you are asking, "where's the sour cream?"
shhhhhh...don't let anyone know or I'll be *run out of Blogtown on a rail* but....I don't really like SOUR CREAM unless it's mixed in with SOMEthing...a dip or something.

ummmm...tender, flavorful PINTO beans just full of smoked Brown Sugar ham..
A big slice of homemade Southern Cornbread
A BIG slice of sweet Onion
and a BAKED potato....more healthy than those fries we love.!

this is a meal fit for a KING.

After we've had all the 
we can stand...
and all the BEAN BURRITOS
we can consume....
and we've put a large bag of those beans in the FREEZER...

We have one meal of 
BEAN and BEEF TACOS and may I just say.....

  DOWN HOME COOKING....we love it
Thanks so much for coming by today...
  I am linking with
BLUE MONDAY  ..Sally, you have to look HARD but there IS blue here, just for you. 
O, and I've noticed that when we have THIS many beans, I have a lot of candles burning...a LOT !

GOD BLESS this country that I love.


Nana's Fun Stuff said...

Oh this just brought back my childhood years :) Mom used to make this all the time and I always loved it. Thanks for sharing sweetie and have a great week!

Lynn said...

You know I love me some beans! I never added sugar, I will do that the next time-thanks:@)

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

If my husband sees this he will be coming to live at your house. He was just saying tonight we need to fix a big pot of beans. I had never even heard of dried beans until I met him. He loves them and just the way you fixed the. And fried potatoes and cornbread, too. Oh my!!

Barbara F. said...

Yum! And you are too funny, lighting a lot of candles!! xo

Neabear said...

I have never really cooked beans except those in a no no don't punch me for that!

Sounds like I need to try it the other way. Sometime....soon....maybe.....


Debbiedoos said...

MMMM..mmmmm...good! my Gram would make pots of soup with beans like this,and it sure was comfort food.

Always Nesting said...

Oh, I grew up on beans and cornbread and I can practically taste this page. Wow, you never cease to amaze me with your cooking skills.I would die early (knowing, mind you, that those pearly gates won't need redecorating) to have just a bit, one bite of the beans and dip that cornbread..........

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Well my hubby would be just a slobbering at your table. His mama made beans and ham....I don't care for it and have never made it....I don't think I will share this info with him...I have gone 38 years without learning need to mess that up now!!! It does look good though...enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Well I must tell you,, I'm a Northern Canadian,, never had red beans but boy I'm going to make this and corn bread and I will report back to you.I will have to find the ingredients so it will be two days,, I'll be back..beautiful phots,, makes me so hungry!We do love beans but ours are baked with molasses , bacon, maple syrup and mustard and onion.

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

This looks delicious! My dear husband wouldn't touch these with a ten-foot-pole, so I never made them...thankfully I have a dear friend who does, and she shares with me!

Pondside said...

Like Laurie, I bake my beans (navy beans) with molasses, bacon, maple syrup and some mustard. We live it with corn bread too, but we bake ours in the oven and I serve it with lots of butter and molasses. Yum!

debi said...

Oh bj, your beans and ham look wonderful. Now I'm hungry!! lol
One of my favorite things about Fall, my favorite season, is big pots of beans, stew, chili, soup, etc.

I have got to get me a ham hock!

Rosie@travel-i-tales said...

You made this post so exciting to read, yes, exciting. How you can make cooking beans interesting is genius! Thanks so much for sharing.Wish I could fly out there and have a taste.

Anonymous said...

Let me go on record, I want you to cook for me. :) Are you sure you didn't grow up in Indiana?, that's exactly how we ate too. I would like to have a dollar for every pot of beans my Mother cooked. But, she never made them the way you did, so I'm going to try that. It's only 5 in the morning, but I'm hungry now.♥

Sonny G said...

oh yea.. I learned to cook them the very same way from my grandma.
we'd sit awhile and "sight" the beans first:) you know look thru the whole bag in cause there was a bad one or a stone in the bag..

this post brought back great memories..thanks

Rettabug said...

I never fail to learn something from your delightful posts, BJ! I also never fail to get a chuckle out of one of your comments; "*run out of Blogtown on a rail*" LOL

Thank you for telling us how you make those yummy looking beans. I never would have thought to use bacon as a Dad only used ham hocks.
I've got my crock pot on the counter & ready to go!


Vee said...

Oh this all looks so good. Just a tip about sour cream. If used in moderation, it actually helps to slow down the blood sugar spike that is going to happen when eating a nice baked potato making it a more gradual process and thereby eliminating some of the weight gain that one might expect. Just call me "Dr. Vee." Ha! Perhaps the cheddar works that way, too. Sugar added to almost anything deepens the flavors, which is why I can't imagine why you Southerners like such plain cornbread. Okay, skipping on outta here before I get beaned.

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

You sweet thing, you. You always make everything look soooooo good! I only eat fish, Beeeej, but to sit down at your table, I might take a bite of that big ole ham bone!

Donnie said...

I grew up in New York my momma made the best lima bean soup. Your post sure brought back sweet memories. Have a great day sweetie.

Theresa said...

Yummy, nothing better than beans and cornbread! I could eat them RIGHT now and it is 9:15 in the morning! Enjoy your day dear BJ, HUGS!

JATunnell said...

My favorite bean is the navy bean with a big ole juicy hamhock. I'm ashamed to confess I CAN NOT make decent cornbread. (not a southern bone in my body)!!!!! But, I make a mean baking powder biscuit.

I too think it's time for a pot of beans........
everyone have a MARVELOUS MONDAY!!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I grew up on pinto beans and love them. My Grandma cooked the best and yes she was from Texas!! Cornbread and beans can't be beat! Thanks for reminding me it's bean time again! hugs, Linda

Darleen ~ Places In The Home said...

If I had a nickle for every pot of pinto beans cooked either by me or my mother! Pinto beans, canned tomatoes, sliced onion, and buttered cornbread is a gourmet meal according to my family. We live in Cajun country where red beans are prepared with sausage and served over rice but I stay true to my roots. My Tennessee father & Texas mother wouldn't have it any other way.

Kudos on the thin cornbread. Yum Yum!

Magnolia Steele said...

Would you please adopt me so I can eat your wonderful food. LOL. Love your bog.

Snap said...

Beans and cornbread! Oh, YUM! Now I'm hungry and I think I'll go figure something out for lunch!

Julie said...


An Oasis in the Desert said...

Oh my goodness, BJ, you've got me salivating & drooling all over my laptop -- shame on you.....LOL! I've already put the dried beans on my shopping list.
:) CAS

On Crooked Creek said...

I do like beans! They are such a healthy food...high in fiber! "Mr. Ed" won't let me cook them unless it's on a Friday night! Darnned him...they don't bother me in the least! HA! Thanks for reminding me that with the cooler temperatures it will soon be Friday night bean cookin' time in KANSAS!

Anonymous said...

Hello BJ, love your post about cooking red beans. I grew up on them and as I age I love them even more. If you would begin your beans in cold water and heat it to boiling and then pour off all the boiling water and add new hot water to finish cooking your beans, you would not have to light so many candles or only cook them on Friday night! The first water you poured off contains most of the gases that create music by so many people. You know the saying"Beans, beans, the musical fruit". Oh yes, I never heard of sighting the dried dry beans , we called it picking through the beans.
Stella B.

Tablescapes By Diane said...

Hi lovely lady.
Im a South Texas Girl. My Husbands Mom make this all the time for him. Ever thing looks so good yummy.Thanks so much for sharing with me. I hope you can come over and see my fall tablescape. I hope you have a gret week.
XXOO Diane

Ann said...

Well now I'm hungry, I shouldn't have read this a 4:39-I need to go start dinner. Boy I love beans and cornbread--So good.

Kathleen said...

I make baked beans, but I don't eat them. I cook them low in the oven overnight. I use brown sugar, powdered mustard, lots of chopped onions, etc. I am told they are good! But not to me!

But I will have some extra cornbread with buttah, please!

Susan (Between Naps On The said...

BJ, this is my kind of cooking! I love beans and crispy cornbread with a good ole Vidalia onion. I've never cooked them in a crock pot...may have to try that.

SmilingSally said...

Believe it or not, with my nausea, beans are one of the few things I can eat! Thanks for sharing your blues.

Happy Blue Monday, BJ.

eileeninmd said...

I also have to say my Mom always made this bean soup with ham. YUMMY! It is a shame I am the only one in my family now that like bean soup. It sounds perfect with the cornbread too. Thanks for sharing your recipe, great post.

joyh82 said...

Sounds and looks awesome. I remember my Mom used to love to make and eat - beans and ham.
Have a great week!

Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

BJ, you had me at cornbread!!!!!!!Oh how I loves me some cornbread!!! I have nevr done beans in thre crockpot, well, except the 3 bean casserole I make in the summer! My Joe would love this,I will try it for him! Fall is the best time for beans, chili, soups, we love them all! XO, Pinky

Kathleen Grace said...

I cook my beans in the crockpot with a ham bone too. I have never used pinto beans though. We usually get a bag of mixed beans or use the white ones. I like to add chopped carrot and onion too. I like my cornbread sweet, I know, that's a northerner for you, I bet your southern cornbread doesn't have sugar. I like the idea of using some of the beans for bean anbd beef tacos, I'll have to try that!

La said...

I haven't made beans in months. It is supposed to be chilly this weekend so maybe I'll make a pot. I didn't like cornbread as a kid, but I love it now.