Posts Tagged ‘15 bean soup’

And Again with the 15 Bean Soup

August 5, 2008

About 30 years ago, I was standing at the spices at my local supermarket.  I picked up this bottle of Smoked Hickory.  Well, I used the last of it in the soup and when I went to the supermarket today, there wasn’t anything like it.  I did pick up something called Smokey Mesquite, but it will probably not be right.  I am very sad.  I’ll have to see what I can find on line.  I don’t think I forgot anything else, except water, of course.

Get out your big Dutch Oven.  Do they still call them that?  It has to be big enough to throw all this crap into and about three quarts of water.  Open the bag of beans and dump it in the pot.  Cover the beans with water plus an inch extra.  Put it on the burner and turn it on high.  When it starts to boil, turn it off after a minute or two.  Go away for one hour.  This is known as cheating.  You are supposed to soak them overnight in cold water.  But, what if you got up the next morning feeling like hammered out snake sh*t and you’ve got all these soggy beans?  What are you going to do then?  Huh?  Mainly, I have to be in the right mood to do this.

Dump the beans in a colinder and rinse them off and rinse the pot, too.  Put the beans and the hambone into the pot with two quarts of water.  Bring to a boil and let it simmer for at least 2 hours, probably 3 hours.  You may have to add more water.  The meat should come easily off the bone. 

About half an hour before, start chopping the onion and garlic. Sometimes I cheat with the garlic and use those little jars of chopped garlic.  It depends on the time of year and how much cooking I am doing.  Get out the rest of the ingredients and open the cans.

When all 15 varieties of beans are done, it is time to take out the ham bone and all the meat and fat.  You can let it cool for a bit.  Who wants to handle hot meat just out of a boiling pot?  Throw out the fat or give it to the dog.  I used to have a German Shepard/Husky that could eat anything, but Gus is only 50 lbs so I have to be careful.  Chop up the meat into bite size pieces and put it back in the pot.  Throw in all those other ingredients I mentioned yesterday.  Let it boil up for a few minutes, then turn it down and let it simmer for half an hour or so.

At this point, a normal person would put a little in a bowl and taste it.  That way you know if you should add anything.    Not me.  I put the cover on the pot and have something else for supper or even better.  Go out to eat. 

Before anyone asks.  Yes.  I have dumped out the beans and counted 15 varieties.

Tomorrow, it’s cornbread.

Doug and Gus on the track
Doug and Gus on the track

See.  Gus isn’t very big.  He’s looking at the geese.

15 Bean Soup

August 4, 2008

I remembered to take my camera on this morning’s walk so pictures will be appearing from time to time.  This one does so much more than my old and it weighs less.  Will wonders ever cease?  I still haven’t figured out what 2/3s of it does, but I’m getting there.  Come to think of it, I have that same problem with most of my stuff.  I don’t bother to read instructions until I want to do something specific with whatever it is I am doing.  I ‘ve always been this way.  Even when I was a kid and learning to sew, I would look at the pictures on the pattern and only read it when I couldn’t figure it out on my own. 

Gus and Doug

Gus and Doug

It was one of those perfect days.  The sky was clear, there was a little breeze and it was only 80 degrees.

I made bean soup yesterday afternoon, but we didn’t eat any.  I can never eat it the same day I make it.  The whole house smells of it.  I don’t want it.  The next day, I am ready for it.  I called Paul and Linda and invited them over for supper.  It was perfect which always amazes me.  I throw whatever  in the pot and hope for the best.  I never taste it myself.  When everybody was there, I put some in a little bowl and gave them spoons.  I figure someone else is a better judge than me.  I made cornbread to go with it.  I tried several different recipes before finally coming up with my own.  Doug says it is better than his Mother’s.  Everybody likes it.  I could never make again and be perfectly happy.   I prefer saltines.  I like doing impromptu get togethers like this.  It’s like saying, “Don’t bother to get cleaned up.  We’ll rummage in the kitchen and see what we can find.”  We put the soup pot and pan of cornbread right on the dining room table along with bottles of salsa, hot sauce and ketchup.  Then I like to get out the silver individual butter knives with little bread and butter plates. 

Sanquhar Gloves

Sanquhar Gloves

I had knitting group this afternoon.  This constitutes about four hours of knitting.  I don’t like the cast on, but I have decided that it is artistic preference and will not be ripped out.  These gloves are going to take longer than most sweaters.