At the farmer’s market a few weeks back, just when I thought I was done with shopping and we were on our way back to the car, we passed a vendor that had bags of locally grown pinto beans for sale.
First, I am really a sucker for the locally grown stuff. That is why I am at the market buying from the little booths. And second, it was the one chilly Saturday we have had so far this fall. There was a real nip in the air, and those pinto beans called out to me….ham, beans, and cornbread…
So a bag was added to the rest of the day’s produce, and ham was purchased at the grocery store.
Now ham and beans is not something prepared for dinner eating when I get home from work. Ham and beans take forethought and planning. Ham and beans could be a weekend meal, surely, but we often are not home for lengthy periods of time during the days on the weekends, for which to check water levels and such. There are crockpots, but my crockpot beans have never panned out, really.
Like I said, forethought and planning. So my thinking and plan went like this….
I put the beans on to cook on low before work and enlisted the help of Wonderful Guy (who could do as I ask, let the beans burn, or go hungry that evening…his choice…) to keep a eye out on the water level.
Working from home has some distinct advantages, I must say, and on my return from work, I turned them up, gave them a taste, mixed up the cornbread, and presto! We had ourselves a meal.
Ham and beans was a standard of my mother’s, but she used an inexpensive ham hock for flavoring, which allowed about three bites of ham per pot of beans. I supposed that worked out okay because there were only the three of us: Mom, DSis, and myself. But Mom would make a mess of those beans, thinking the leftovers would keep us happy and out of her hair, and her out of the kitchen for a bit. But I grew to think the beans mighty boring and weak after that first bite of ham was gone, and the corn bread no longer warm and fresh.
Still…ham and beans, with warm corn bread and fresh chopped onions….mmmmm……
I use a chunk of ham, though, and only cook enough for 2 meals. Just right on a chilly autumn day.