Today has been a glorious day in north central Texas. Crisp, sunny, blue skies will be turning in to rainy, freezing, snowy skies late tonight through tomorrow. Snowfall of 3-6 inches is predicted, not normal weather for these parts. Aware of the approaching storm I spent time outdoors today, taking in the crisp, fresh air, checking bird feeders and baths, wrapping pipes, (actually my hubby did this), covering fragile plants, filling the horse trough – which will more than likely will need a sledgehammer taken to it tomorrow, and raking leaves on top of my Shasta Daisy beds, to protect from or prepare for the freezing temps. I also spent some time showing my hubby where and explaining why my “Bee Yard” will be installed where it is to be. He will after all, be instrumental in helping me build the “Bee Yard”. To read more about my upcoming “Bee Yard” see the page titled “Bees & Honey”.
Feeling the need for food to warm the body and soul, I started a pot of pinto beans and ham. I had leftover Christmas eve ham which was the perfect addition. The entire house smells warm and cozy and delicious. I think we will eat in front of a roaring fire and toast old man winter with a nice glass of jewel colored merlot.
Winter Pinto Beans & Ham
2 cups pinto beans
8 cups water
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped bell pepper
2 -3 teaspoons minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper (cayenne)
2 cups chopped ham
Fill a 4 quart pot with 8 cups water, add beans and bring to a rolling boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 1 hour. Meantime prepare all the vegetables and measure out the seasonings. Cut up ham into bite size pieces. Drain and rinse the beans.
Put beans back in pot with 6-8 cups of water, add remaining ingredients, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour or until beans are tender. Add more water as necessary during simmering time.
We like to eat our beans served over rice with chopped onion and hot pepper sauce on the side, along with a slice of piping hot corn bread. The best part? Having honey on a slice of cornbread for dessert!