day 22: white beans for casey lou, who? (insert a grinch & a rhyme)

I’ve been quite the Grinch this holiday season thus far … completely devoid of all things shiny & red (except my lipstick, of course) & green. No pine or cinnamon taunting the air in my house. It’s been a bit drab. Now, I’m not saying I’m not a fortunate gal at all. Don’t misunderstand. I have a family that loves me. Friends that have evolved into family. Colleagues and acquaintances that have become friends. The cycle is endless.

I think sometimes (definitely not always, but literally sometimes) when we think we have nothing left to give … it’s truly the simple things that make Christmas … indeed what it is. It can be a simple smile, a thoughtful call, a kick in the ass or just being together doing nothing at all. Diary entry complete … time for comfort food!

In all seriousness, my dear friend & colleague mentioned her love of the Southern style white bean … so, in the spirit of the season, I’m sharing my no fuss recipe. How lucky is she?

*Yes, all previous rhymes were intentional & made perfect sense, I might add.

Traditional white beans + fresh herbs

Traditional white beans + fresh herbs

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. dried Great Northern beans
  • 1 smoke ham hock (for you folks who are unfamiliar, it’s by the country ham)
  • 1 lb. country ham seasoning pieces
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 4 cloves peeled garlic
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • a slow cooker (crock pot)

What you’ll do:

  • Place ham hock in the bottom of the crock pot
  • Then pour in sorted and rinsed beans (pick out any gnarly looking ones and discard, then rinse)
  • Place ham pieces on top of beans
  • Cover all with fresh, cold water (about 2 1/2″ above the bean mixture level)
  • Throw in garlic, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves
  • Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours. Check the beans at 5 for tenderness and seasoning.
  • Serve with hot skillet cornbread, fresh sliced onion, tomatoes & chow chow (really, whatever you please).
  • Enjoy!
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