Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hillbilly Hoedown a.k.a. Big Bean Binge

Howdy F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, things are just zinging along here. I'm so pleased with the diligence my Lambies are showing with their studies this year. Their co-operation helps make homeschooling a joy.
Let me tell you about our dinner last night...
We used to call it our "soul food dinner," but somehow it's evolved into a "Hillbilly Hoedown." I am very happy that my whole family loves pinto beans. We make them (uh, the beans not the family) the main dish, with sides of greens, bacon and hash browns. YUM YUM!
The night before, I sorted 8 cups of dry pinto beans, rinsed them, them let them soak all night in enough water to cover over them a couple inches. Now, 8 cups makes a *LOT* of beans! Once they had soaked all night, I put them in a large (large!) stockpot with water to cover. I added about 1/2 cup of dried onion flakes--one of my favorite pantry staples--about a tablespoon of oil and 2 teaspoons of salt. (I know adding salt at the beginning is controversial, but my mama always did it and I've done it nearly 20 years. And my beans are good. :-) I bring them to a quick boil, then lower the heat to let them simmer about 2 hours, at least. Last night, they simmered all afternoon. I stirred occasionally and added water if it got too low. Oh, yeah...and I keep the lid cocked a little to let out the steam. Not sure why. That's just how it's done.
While those beans were simmering all afternoon, I baked some thick sliced bacon in the oven. I really like doing it that way--no standing watch over a spattering pan of grease--very little clean up...flat slices and predictable performance. :-) I do this by covering rimmed cookie sheets (enough sheets to house all the bacon) with 2 sheets of foil. Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake the bacon for about 20 minutes. No turning...just let 'er rip. After the bacon gets as crispy as you like it, remove it to a plate lined w/ paper towels for draining.
The greens last night were spinach. I do those in the crockpot. I dumped a couple pounds of frozen spinach into the crockpot and added 1/2 cup of hot water and a teaspoon of chicken base (like for soup...kin to bouillon). I put a generous sprinkling of dried onion flakes and a teaspoon of minced garlic. Stirred it up well and set the crock to high for a couple hours. Once they were cooked, I drained them and kept them on "warm." Yummy.
The hash browns are the frozen patties, fried crisp in coconut oil in a large skillet. Lioness makes these--she seasons them with seasoned salt toward the end.
Finally, I made up a few gallons of tea (we had company coming) and a double batch of cornbread. Yee haw!
Too bad we didn't have any possum and hog jowl. Oh well. Maybe next time.
Gotta run...there's a bunch of Lambies who need tucking. (in)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe


Lisa-Anne said...

LOL, I guess I'll be the juvenile...
Beans, Beans, good for your heart...
Just kidding! lol! :)
That dinner sounds so Kentucky to me, almost made me homesick! :)
Love you tons,

Mama Lamba said...

Daggum, Girl...At least use the one that starts, "Beans, beans, musical fruit..." LOL
Yeah, well, LA, if you get homesick enough, just c'mon down to AL...get it, "L.A. in AL?" :-)

Lisa-Anne said...

I'd love to visit you! :) And drop off a certain 11 year-old girl for the "exchange program" we started with Andie. :) She'd be in sister heaven at your house! We're considering adopting a girl to spare Blaze being dressed up and taken to tea parties! lol :)
LOVE you bunches... now where is my email with your details?? :)