Monday, May 25, 2009

Corn Bread And Beans

When I was growing up, every couple of months or so my mother would make a big pot of pinto beans along with a skillet of delicious crusty cornbread served with butter. Occasionally we would have collard greens or mustard greens on the side.
You see, in Depression times in West Virginia where my parents grew up, pinto beans were a staple part of their diet. Most families put a big pot of beans on to soak, then cook, every single day except Sunday. On Sunday my Mom said they had a chicken if they were lucky. She remembers eating fried bologna and gravy for breakfast, and apparently lots of oatmeal (which she hated for the rest of her life and refused to eat again.) But the beans and corn bread were family traditions we enjoyed even though we didn't "have" to eat them anymore.
I love a good bowl of pinto beans and cornbread myself! Here is the recipe:
Sort through a 2 lb. bag of pinto beans to remove any small rocks or bad beans. Wash beans, then put in large pot, with water to cover. Soak overnight, adding additional water if necessary. In the morning, drain off old water and replace with fresh. Bring beans to a boil and boil hard for 10 minutes, then turn heat down to simmer. Add 1 large onion, 1 carrot and 1 good meaty ham hock. Simmer beans on low heat until tender. This will take several hours. Remove carrot and discard. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve in a bowl with a few raw white onion slices on top.

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