Monday, October 28, 2013

Beans, Beans, Beans...

     Indianapolis dried-bean packaging icon (and lone holdout in the vast land-holdings of Lucas Oil Stadium) N. K. Hurst is 75 years old this month!

     Happy Birthday, Hurst -- and here's some bean soup recipes for the rest of us.

     When I was growing up, thick, gray 15-bean soup, simmered all day with chunks of ham and served with fresh chopped onions, sliced celery and home-baked corn bread* was a cold-weather treat above all others.  It's getting to be about bean soup time already, in fact.  Do you suppose Tam will agree to drive the crockpot while I'm at work?

     (The "classic" version I grew up with is just the bean mix simmered with ham.  Use the spice packet and add tomato, etc. for a more traditional 15-bean soup.  Either way, it's great!)
* Does your boxed-mix cornbread fall apart?  Try doubling the number of eggs you add!  It works for me.


Carteach said...

I just picked up a few bags of dried beans, and plan on more soon.

Yup.... 'tis time.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

I'm thinking Tam will say, "There was any doubt?"

I'm a veggie soup fan myself. Not a big fan of beans, so they don't go into my soup. But it's time to start that season, too.

Stranger said...

Something like that 15 bean soup was pretty much the staple of FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps Camps. Like the WPA's indestructible concrete, there was a recipe.

Pour a Duke's mixture of whatever beans were on hand into a "pot," often a 55 gallon drum, and cook it with a ham overnight. Keep the pot simmering and serve until the pot was empty.

My dad asked a pair of the CCC workers if they fed well at the camp.

"Oh," said the younger of the two. "We have hundreds and hundreds of things to eat."

"Yeah, said the other, "All beans."

The beans were all right but when the camps ran out, the cooks went to dehydrated split pea soup. Which came in brown paper wrapped sticks much like dynamite and had the same effect on your internal workings.

And yes, it is time to stock up on staple foods. And ammo.


Dave H said...

Thanks for the suggestion on the cornbread. That's been a bit of a bother to me for a while now. (Not that crumbled cornbread gets wasted - it goes into the soup, chili, or whatever is in the bowl in front of me.)

Old NFO said...

I can't find a way to order on line, any cues???

Roberta X said...

I'm not sure -- lemme check. BRB.

Roberta X said...

How do you feel about W@l-M@rt? They have 'em. Amazon has them, too, but only sells by the case.

It is not impossible that your local grocer has Hurst bean mixes. I'm not sure how large their distribution area is. Look with the plain dried beans, usually in the same aisle as rice.

Gewehr98 said...

15 bean soup? I thought the gas leak was fixed, no need to supply your own!

Jeffro said...

I see the Cajun 15 bean option in my near future!

perlhaqr said...

S. and I are fond of the offerings from Frontier Soups. But I'll make sure to give this stuff a try. And thanks for the cornbread tip! Of course, baking up here is something of a challenge, no matter what. (Though not as bad as where Stingray and Labrat live, of course.)

Rob K said...

Boxed-mix cornbread? Wuts that? Corn bread is just corn meal, baking soda, salt, oil, and eggs, ain' it? I guess most people add flour as a binder too.

Boxed or not, for a beautiful crust on your corn bread, preheat your cast iron skillet and the oil too. When it's at temperature, dump in your batter.

Now I may have to make a pan.

Anonymous said...

>The beans were all right but when the camps ran out, the cooks went to dehydrated split pea soup.

Erbswurst most likely.

>Boxed-mix cornbread? Wuts that?

There are two types of cornbread, and I love them both. The "southern" style must be poured into a cast iron pan that contains smoking-hot shortning or bacon grease, and the "northern" style that has a significant amount of sugar.

Both are improved by adding some wheat flour for the gluten, but some of the box mixes get a little ridiculous. Is it still fair to call it "corn bread" when it has more wheat than corn? Maybe it's fairer to call it "spoon bread" or corn-flavored sheet cake?

Matthew said...

Crock pot? Might as well be boiling bronto broth in a giant tortoise shell.

Join the Steam Age and trade pressure for time. ;)