Tarzan announced the other day that he’d like some ham and beans soup.
Anytime he says something like this, what he means is: I want [fill in the blank]. But I don’t want to make it. I want YOU to make it, but I want you to make it the way I would make it, if I were going to make it.
This is exhausting to me, since he and I do not have the same taste in food (have I mentioned that?). He doesn’t want to eat it my way, I don’t want to eat it his way. I feel like whoever’s making it should get to pick. Unless it’s your birthday or you’ve been sick for days and this certain thing, made this certain way, is the only thing that sounds good enough to eat.
The problem with ham and beans is, he likes it soupy. I don’t really like it at all, but if I do have to eat it, I like it a little thicker.
I only tried one other time to do this, but I cheated and used canned beans.
I have carrots and celery left over from making buffalo-chicken chili two weeks ago (which was good, not great – I only used about half the chili sauce and hot sauce it called for, I think I may have undershot it a bit – but I will say it was pretty good over the leftover spaghetti noodles from the week before)… and I have a thing about REALLY wanting to “Use Things Up”, so I decided to try my hand at ham and beans, for real.
I started with this recipe for inspiration.
- 1 lb dry great Northern* beans
- 6 cups of chicken broth
- 1 ham hock
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- a bit less than 1/4 cup of dried chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups chopped ham
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
I soaked the beans in the crockpot overnight (no, I didn’t turn the crockpot on… duh, I was just saving some bowls to have to wash). In the morning, drained off the water, then threw all of the ingredients in the crockpot and turned that sucker on LOW. It was done in about 6 hours.
Again, in the spirit of wanting to Use Things Up, I have some chicken bullion cubes that just won’t seem to go away, so I’ve been boycotting buying chicken broth until they’re gone. So I just heated 6 cups of water to dissolve 6 cubes, in lieu of using canned chicken broth.
I tried it out a little while ago, I was pleased. I’m trying to stay optimistic… this morning when he saw me assembling the ingredients, Tarzan whined, “I thought you were going to make real ham and bean soup?” (He was alarmed by the presence of bay leaves.)
We shall see. Make your wagers now.
*Why is Northern capitalized? I don’t know.