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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lot's of Ham, Ham Hock and Beans

Last week was a ham filled week. We ate lots of ham, in fact so much that on Saturday when I asked Brady what he wanted for dinner, he said, "anything without ham".. He cracks me up. But, I was bound and determined to use up all of the ham from our Easter dinner to Brady's dismay.

It is my new goal not to waste food as much as possible. Wasted food is like throwing out money and I aim to keep every penny I can by using up what food I purchase. You know, the old saying, "A penny saved is a penny earned".
When I grew up, my mother stretched out food to keep our family of 7 fed. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters with a total of 5 children. Food was never wasted. It's different when you only have 2 people in our family, I have to get very creative in using my freezer to prevent wasting food. I am happy to report that I used every bit of the Easter ham and didn't waste any -- woo hoo (I feel VERY proud).

We used it in breakfast. Scrambled eggs with ham and cheese.
I used the bone to make Ham Hock and Beans. I've never made these before, but grew up on it. I always loved it and this is how we ate. I had to ask my Mom how to make it... Yes, I am 48 years old and it is the first time I've ever made it - kind of comical. But, I'm glad I took the plunge while I could ask my Mom how to make it.

Sometimes I feel like I am in my 20's with my cooking skills - it's just something I never wanted to do. It's hard being a career woman and then cooking like a stay at home mom. Plus with all the the convenient and fast food luxuries we enjoy in this generation, it sad that some of these traditions and food stretching items have been lost. Well, I'm bound and determined to be more frugal and prepared by learning to cook more with my food storage.

On to Ham Hock and Beans..... I looked at several recipes on the Internet for Ham Hock and Beans, but they were not like my Mother's.

I have navy beans in my storage - and have never used them. Something I promised I would never do, store something I wouldn't use. THEN I found out that my Mom doesn't use navy beans, she uses baby white beans. Well... waste not, I used the navy beans for this recipe. This is just a reference for my future needs, but in the future, I will replace the navy beans with baby white beans.

With navy beans you have to soak them over night and baby white beans you don't.

After the navy beans have been soaked, you drain, add new water and the bone from your ham.
Simmer for several hours. This is where I got worried and called my mother, because it didn't look like the Ham Hock and Beans she always made. It looked like soup with broth, not creamy. That is because Baby White Beans break up and give it a creamy look.

I was surprised at how much ham was left on the bone after boiling it. Tons - WOW!! In the joint and it easily pull off leaving a completely bare bone. It was pretty cool and gave it a ton of flavor.

That's the recipe. White beans - use Baby White Beans in the future.
Bone from ham
Salt and pepper to taste.

Totally easy recipe.

Well, I couldn't handle it not being thickened with the baby white beans, so I whipped up some flour in water and added it to the soup - to make it creamy. It worked and made it lots better.
Childhood memories came back as I ate this Ham Hock and Beans. A great food storage recipe to stretch penny's while eating good nutritious meals.

3 comments:

Small House said...

Sondra, This looks tasty! I don't enjoy cooking myself. I can do it, but I don't enjoy it. I'm already so tired when I get home. BUT....we are trying to not eat out as often, so....I'm in the kitchen.

ENJOY the rest of your ham! (I love ham)
Have a good day.
Sandra

Zoey said...

I am happy to see all of your ham recipes. It makes me smile! Love ya!

Garden of Egan said...

I love hamhocks and beans! I use Navy beans.
I also found a recipe I want to try and she uses brown sugar in her recipe.

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