My daughter Allison who is married with one baby and one on the way lives in Texas. She enjoys cooking. We used to make fun of her because she liked making what we called “concoctions”. The things this girl would put together and eat, very weird. But as the years went on and she spent time with me in the kitchen being my official enchilada roller or just helping me, she did become more able to follow a recipe and produce foods the family would enjoy eating. Such as the cinnamon rolls she learned to make in her young women’s class at church. It would take her over half the day and the kitchen was a disaster when she was finished but the cinnamon rolls were delicious and she had to clean the kitchen, not me.
When I began my blog Allison has been asking for me to post certain recipes. She asked for this on early this week so I will make it today. Ham and Beans, I have made ham and beans since I was at least 12 years old. Of course my mom taught me the process. And I made them the same way for the next 8 or 10 years. But it was my mother in law who made great ham and beans. So I asked her what she did differently than I did. I used, pinto beans, salt pepper, garlic onions, ham bone and water, and it cooked all day. Well she gave me this recipe for her beans and I have not changed it at all.
- • Two pounds of beans pinto beans, sorted and picked through and washed to remove any rocks and dirt this recipe actually works with all kinds of beans delicious
- • Two ham hocks
- • One onion chopped
- • Two celery stalks chopped
- • One bell pepper chopped
- • 4 cloves of garlic minced
- • One carrot shredded or chopped
- • Black pepper
- • Garlic powder
- • Salt (go lightly because the ham hocks will be salty)
- • Two bay leaves
Fill pot with water with in about three inches from the top. Add all the spices and turn up the flame to high. When the soup begins to boil turn the heat to medium top with a lid and let it cook until the beans are soft and the veggies have all about cooked away and you have nice thick bean gravy forming. You will need to keep adding water in the first hours of cooking as the beans expand and soak up water. I can’t give an exact cooking time for the beans, here in Arizona, they can be done in about 3 hours, but I let them go longer for the thicker soup to develop. In other parts of the country I have lived they can take up to all day. So just watch them and taste them you will know when they are finished. These beans are not watery and soupy like my old recipe. These are rich in flavor and hearty and very comforting. Probably why Allison wants the recipe, they make her feel like she is home. I usually serve these beans the day I make them with corn bread or tortillas or homemade white rolls. My family calls them “mom’s big fluffy rolls”.
When my step daughter was younger and would be mad at me and I knew she was on strike to not have anything to do with me that day, I would make these rolls, because I knew she could not resist them, she would crack every time and have to eat the rolls I made, lol, still makes me giggle to think about it, maybe we should call them the peace maker rolls, hahaha.
After I have served the beans for the meal that night I remove the ham hock bones and I puree the rest of the beans, now they are refried beans that my step sons can use for burritos. They used to live on these bean burritos when they were younger. Since the beans were already prepared it was easy for them to grab a tortilla salsa and cheese stick it in the microwave and have a quick homemade burrito.
Every time Grandma Heger would make a ham for a family dinner, with in the next week or two we would all go back over to thier house and this time ham and beans was the dinner. But interestingly enough, after she gave me this recipe, after the family Ham dinners she would wrap up the left over ham and ham bone and send it home with me. I was now the official ham and bean cooker for the family dinners.
I am going down stairs now to make a batch of these beans. I will post some pictures to go with this blog, but I am going to post it now without the pictures because Allison is impatient and wants this recipe, lol. Enjoy Allison, I love you