Imagination? - Stevie's Crazy Kitchen Blog at - 265809

Stevie's Crazy Kitchen

Jan. 29, 2012 10:48 pm 
Updated: Feb. 21, 2012 10:28 am
As I sat here, the midnight hour approaching, I got to thinking about my next soup, Navy Bean.  Despite making a note on my "list," the page number didn't correspond to the book I thought my chosen recipe was in...  I had no sooner grabbed the "other" Better Homes and Gardens, when I heard the low rumble of an engine outside, and sirens in the distance...  I often hear a car idling outside so I didn't think much of it.

It had been a gloriously warm day, I'd had windows open and the like.  I'd played in the dirt, re-potting a couple of houseplants, and putting in some seeds (to see if they'll germinate after being rained on...)  Perhaps it was just my imagination... that COULDN'T be woodsmoke that I was smelling...  Surely, my mind was playing tricks on me since I was envisioning a big pot of beans cooking over a wood fire!

I arose to go put beans on to soak, as a paramedics vehicle pulled up, directly outside our rear car gate!  My trip to the kitchen took a fast detour, as I reached to open a window.  Indeed, it was woodsmoke!  The home due E across the alley appeared to have smoke billowing from the northern windows, while  the parmamedics sat, and the fire truck ahead of it hummed and rumbled in the quiet of the night.

After unlocking the back door, I carefully paced across the back yard, to a vantage point closer to the car gate where we have a "step" tall enough to see over the block wall, but the lights of the paramedic vehicle blinded me, flashing blue and red... the best view I could get was from closer to the back door, rather than across the yard at the gate.  As there was little to actually see, my interest was soon lost...  Since the paramedics left some minutes ago, lacking lights and sirens, I presumed that no one was injured, thankfully.

Curiosity sated, I did indeed put some beans on to soak when I returned to the house, though I continued to watch out the windows in front of me.  The final truck just left as I've been typing this little tale!

The recipe I plan on using tomorrow is quite simple, beans, a ham bone, onion...  I'm lacking a ham bone (and if you recall didn't have a ham hock when I thought I'd thawed one out!) so I think I'll put a few rashers of bacon in the mix... that fat should be enough to flavor a small batch of beans.  I may also dress them up a tad with some diced carrot, but time alone will tell on that one.  Surprisingly, the only seasonings called for are salt, peppercorns, and a bay leaf!  The last time I made this recipe, I really enjoyed them, but then, I do really LIKE beans!  My buddy Rose taught me years ago to add a T of epsom salts to the soaking water, but then I also recently read here at AR to add a pinch of baking soda - either of which helps remove the "gas" from the finished product, without altering the flavor.

My plan is, to have "beans" ready come dinner time tomorrow, though as I have no idea just what dinner will be, they may be set aside for another time.  So, there you have my weekend in a nutshell, with one exception...  Saturday, I made what I can best describe as a "rotten banana pie."  The poor thing should have been turned into bread, but once sliced/mushed onto a graham cracker crust, and topped with instant vanilla pudding, it's made a wonderful snack to follow the evening meal!

Till next time, when I report on N for Navy beans, be well, be happy, cook crazy!
Jan. 30, 2012 4:48 am
hey Stevie,your navy beans sound good, i might have to make some soon,oh my the house was on fire....glad no one was hurt, glad it wasn't your house,i know you are enjoying the nice weather you have been having, our weather hasn't been too bad the 50's & 60' well my friend...Judy
Jan. 30, 2012 9:08 am
Hey, Judy! Glad that you're doing ok... Day time temps have been great, and nights not too bad! Almost time to go cook beans! Be well!
Jan. 30, 2012 10:18 am
wow Stevie...glad all is good with the weather...wish i was there enjoying the sun too..ya i am doing ok, same old ho hum here...later friend
Lee B 
Feb. 12, 2012 5:59 am
Hey there Stevie.Glad that everything turned out alright.Is a car gate what some call a driveway?Sometimes things ARE LOST IN TRANSLATION,LOL!We're having pinto beans (soup beans to some)mixed greens,cornbread and fried potatoes today.We finally have a little bit of snow here.(sledding later...I hope all of my old bones stay intact!) I enjoy hearing about things out your way..enjoy that great weather for me...happy crazy cooking! :)
Feb. 21, 2012 10:28 am
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Stevie crazycook

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Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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Feb. 2008

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About Me
Started cooking many years ago, and learned as I went. First meal may have been "steak & chips" at age 15, in Birmingham England, where I lived for several years. Mostly grew up in MI, transplanted to the desert 30yrs ago, or so. Favorite cookbook is "Better Homes", also enjoy "Great British Cooking, a well kept secret." Hesitate to call myself "expert," but friends do rave...
My favorite things to cook
Italian has been my "specialty" for some time, and my "signature" meal is Lasagne, salad, garlic bread, which I first made 20yrs ago... from SCRATCH, very first time I made it. (Never again, folks...) Now start with a big jar of sauce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanks to my heritage, I have enjoyed trying foods from different cultures. We still have beer battered fish, and chips of course; ground meat dishes often, chicken occasionally, pork too. I would love to submit a bean dip recipe, however, my ex who gave me the original has passed, and I have no way to verify that it didn't come from another source! I also enjoy British cooking (with a few yankee twists) and once made Plum puddings, also known as Christmas puddings, as far as I know... what an ordeal that was, but well worth the effort. Today, there is mail order!
My cooking triumphs
Greatest triumph was not too long ago, when I held a sit down dinner for 12, Lasagne being the entree. It was a fund raiser I chose to sponsor, and am proud to say that "we" raised over $1000 from that meal alone, minimum donation being $25. All proceeds collected were donated; my partner and I provided the meal and beverages.
My cooking tragedies
MEATLOAF of all things! Went through a stage of "winging" it each time, and I pulled one after another out of the oven that were almost unedible. As yet, not too big on baking... no sweet tooth here! Have dabbled, but find doughs/pastries especially difficult, perhaps as it's 90 degrees in my kitchen much of the year.
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