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September 2013



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Great Northern Beans and Ham...

We've been up to our eyelashes this week in computer issues--check out kateslover 's journal for the grisly details, unless computer stuff makes your eyes just glaze over entirely!

My ancient custom-built critter really was on its last legs...didn't realize how close to kaput it was till we were trying to make the transfer between machines and first the graphics card died and then the old monitor blew up with a great puff of smoke! Happily, we were home and quickly dealt with it...

So here's the handsome new baby in our household...a powerful HP laptop . J. did lots of research and decided that as many graphics as I deal with, and heading toward videos, I needed something built at least in this century. It's PRETTY, it's compact, and it's lightyears ahead of my old machine in RAM and storage capacity. Faster, too..

And did I mention compact? My desk actually has ROOM now.

I MISS XP, though--the new baby is Windows 7 and wants everybody to be as modern as it is. Doesn't want to play nice with my venerable and dependable programs...so I'm learning A LOT, FAST.

We're still not all the way back to letting me actually get my WORK done efficiently, but we're getting there...

So since it's been frigid the last couple of days I decided comfort food was just what I needed. Beans and ham, and grandma's cornbread, YUM. My husband is not fond of this stuff, but I am, so for a change I made something just because I wanted it, with an offer to fix him anything he wanted, too. (He DESERVES it, with all the work he's been putting in! My hero...) He even braved the snow for me yesterday and brought back dry beans, which I soaked overnight.

Um. Well.

I had some rather robust smoked ham that was a bit much, by itself, so figured I'd use it in the beans. We bought organic yellow onions, couldn't find the lovely sweet ones--they're a tad strong . I forgot to pour off the bean-soaking water. Some combination of elements resulted in an incredibly NASTY mess! The aroma rising from my longed-for pot of beans smelled more like lighter fluid!

Joseph said "er...does that really smell good to you??"

NO, it smelled AWFUL. Chemical.

I tasted it.

Seriously AWFUL.

We decided it was the ham, so our local raccoons are going to have a feast tonight! The rest can compost!

I had half the bag of beans left, and I just started over. Soaked the beans in hot water, brought them to a boil, used up the last of the hog jowl browned a bit, and still needed ham.

This time I braved the cold, dug out the Jeep, and ran to the local mom-and-pop for a plain, lovely, lightly-smoked ham steak.

I diced about 2/3 for the beans, added a bay leaf, and let it simmer.

Meanwhile, I mixed up a batch of my grandmother's cornbread and popped it in the oven...

He Who Doesn't Care for Beans and Ham had two bowls, plus two pieces of cornbread. :-)

We NEEDED that comfort food! It's been a solid week of messing with my computer switchover, in addition to teaching my class and writing lessons and PDFs. And I can have cornbread and milk for breakfast.

You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl!


I really don't care for the stuff, but you did something that made it... well, pretty good, actually... :)

At least the second batch. That first pot was HIDEOUS.<:-(
Um... fact is, the first pot smelled more like what I've had before...
GOOD GRIEF, no WONDER you didn't like it. That was NASTY. Beans and ham should be savory...
Well come on over, girl!
hubby's favorite breakfast is leftover cornbread, broken up in a bowl with milk on top. i'd rather rewarm it, and put honey on it....but it was a farm breakfast from years ago. on the list of comfort foods, for sure!

my mom used to make "velling" (an old swedish dish) for me--leftover white rice, heated slowly in milk, served up with a plop of butter in the middle. i loved it beyond all reason, probably because it WASN'T cornflakes or the like.

i guess not much different than the cornbread, when it comes down to it...
Oh, velling sounds GOOD. But I'm with your hubby, definitely cold with milk!


Shopping List

I absolutely HATE dealing with computer issues. I want my programs to stay just like I have them....but progress disagrees! I have worked so long in the corporate environment, that when I had to deal with these things myself...I just wanted to call the GE Help Desk and say, "I forgot my password again!!" Oh well. I have learned alot since I had to deal with my own computer problems...just not enough!

Shopping list for tomorrow--dried beans...going to make bean soup on Sunday...per absolute nudging from reading blog!!!!! :-) Thanks for the great idea! It's -1 here...wind chills in the double digits...going to buy lots of dried beans for stocking in such horrible weather!

Re: Shopping List

Hi Nancy! I know, progress makes me nuts! Today, I couldn't open our lessons on my website. Had to upgrade my Adobe Reader, then I had to update Firefox. Gaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Hope you enjoyed the beans!