05 April 2013

My Favorite Meal

This is the dish that I most associate with my childhood, the South, good food, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.....It's some super awesome grub and about the best po' folk food there is.  This is the dish that I grew up on, my mom grew up on, her mom grew up on -- well, you get the picture.  This is my heritage.  It's pinto beans and cornbread.  I'm just going to give you the pinto beans recipe today.  To be perfectly honest, I used Jiffy mix for my cornbread because I worked all day and that's half the point of these beans.  I did stir in some corn kernels and cheese to make it even better.

I've always been one of those people that does too much and I even wonder to myself how I manage to get it all done.  Right now, I'm juggling raising two kids, working full time as the sole breadwinner, doing all the housework, testing recipes almost every evening, and making blog posts.  It's no wonder that I sleep like death every night.  I've really been wanting to make some pinto beans for a while because they cook all day in my slow cooker.  I love my slow cooker because it does all the work for me.  I can pretty much walk in the door and serve up dinner.  That's awesome since the slow cooker is the only way that scenario is going to happen. 

Beans and cornbread are a magical combination -- the rich, savory, creamy beans, salty ham, and the sweet, crisp-edged cornbread.  It's the stuff dreams are made of.  There are songs written about them.  I could eat my weight in them.  It's a good thing that they're fairly healthy or I would hate myself for days afterward.

Put your beans in a bowl and soak them ovenight.

After, soaking all night, drain off the water, and rinse your beans.  They will be a little bigger than when you started since they absorb a little of the water.

Chop up some onion.

Then chop up some ham.  Mine was leftover from Easter dinner.

Dump it all in the slow cooker and walk away for the rest of the day while it turns into magical deliciousness.

Serve it up with some cornbread.  That's the Southern way.

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans
1 lb dried pinto bean
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 lb ham, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp hot sauce
1 bouillion cube (any flavor will work)
Put the beans in a large bowl.  Pick out any funny looking beans or anything else that shouldn't be there and add enough tap water to cover the beans by at least 2".  Let soak overnight.
The next morning, pour the water off the beans and rinse them well; put the beans in the bowl of your slow cooker.  Add 6-8 cups of water followed by the remaining ingredients and stir.  Cook, covered, on the low setting for 8-9 hours.  Just before serving, season the beans with more salt or pepper to taste. 

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