Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Good Eats

There is a Lyle Lovett song, “Church,” from his album Joshua Judges Ruth, in which Mr. Lovett sings,


To the Lord let praises be
It’s time for dinner now let’s go eat
We’ve got some beans and some good cornbread
Now listen to what the preacher said
He said to the Lord let praised be
It’s time for dinner now let’s go eat

I particularly like the lyrics about “some beans and some good cornbread.” I am fond of beans, and, if they are pinto beans or if they are navy beans in U.S. Senate bean soup, I like some good cornbread to accompany them. As an added bonus, legumes are a veritable nutritional powerhouse.

I will even provide instructions for a rather splendid preparation for pinto beans that involves a hambone, such as that which remains after devouring one of the honey-glazed spiral sliced hams that abound around certain holidays. As far as I am concerned, the best part of those hams is the beans that are cooked with the bone. I will even forego the ham, and the $50 price, give or take, and buy the hambone from the deli, for about $2; this is great fare for poor folk like me. Sort, rinse, and soak for about eight hours a pound-and-a-half or two pounds of dried pinto beans. Put the hambone in a large pot, pour in the beans, and cover them with water, by about an inch. Partially cover the pot, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, or, if heating up your entire house by running your oven is not a concern, place the beans, covered, in a 250° Fahrenheit oven. Let the beans cook for about three hours, checking them occasionally to ensure that the water level does not fall below the surface of the beans. If, upon tasting the beans, salt is necessary, stir in about a teaspoon, and allow them to simmer for an additional fifteen minutes.

After the beans are soft and creamy textured, you can serve them with some good cornbread, made from stone ground cornmeal ground from whole kernel corn with the germ intact. If you let the beans cool and refrigerate them overnight, the texture and flavor improve, and the coagulated fat can be skimmed from the surface.

I told you I liked beans.

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