Friday, January 20, 2012

Good Ol' Ham and Beans

We had ham the other day.  I bought a couple of half hams when they were on sale at Thanksgiving time.  We like the real thing, not that ham and water product stiff.  A real ham has a bone in. I like a good ham bone.  It gives us a good excuse to have old fashioned ham and beans.  I grew up on ham and beans.  Mom soaked her beans over night and cooked them until they were very soft and the juice was still clear. 

In fact it was one of my favorites.  I wish I knew now what my brothers and sister thought of it.  We didn't always have corn bread. Sometimes we just ate them with plain bread.  I can see right now, my dad fixing his plate of beans.  He buttered his bread, (we kids didn't get to, just goes to show about the DAD), then put his beans over the bread.  For some reason I did it differently.  I mashed my beans first, and then spread them on my unbuttered bread, poked holes in it, and poured bean juice over the top.  Another thing we liked was to put diced raw onion over the top.  I makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  
Now that I think about it, I didn't like corn bread in those days.  In our house, you ate what was set before you, so I had to eat it anyway.  I would spread it with peanut butter and swallow it with lots of milk.  I sure like cornbread with my beans now, I wonder if I would have learned to like it, if I hadn't already known it wouldn't kill me. 
Jim likes beans, too.  Every first Sunday, there was a potluck after the first Sunday meeting.  Jim still talks about how good Anna's beans were.  She cooked them the day before and warmed them up again.  I've asked again and again, if my beans are ever like "Anna's beans".  He says, "no".  I am beginning to wonder if the flavor of the years past makes it impossible to make beans like that anymore. So, I don't ask anymore. I make good beans, he likes them and asks for more.  

  I also have a strange memory about ham bones.  Mom always used to think there was something funny about them, and I never understood the joke.  It has to be an inside joke.  The kind of joke that happens when you're young and silly and enjoying life with friends.  I wonder if it has anything to do with this old movie taken when I was a baby, we lived in a trailer house then, and it shows my folks and company passing around this ham bone, and everyone takes a bite.  They were all laughing.   

Goodness, I'm so much older now that she was then, and I'm still doing silly things to laugh at with my friends.  

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