Working Man’s Dinner
I remember, as a child, my mother cooked a lot of pinto beans to keep us all fed. She would fry up a big skillet of potatoes, bake some cornbread, and sometimes — just sometimes — she would add a ham bone to the beans. That ham bone would cook until the ham — what little ham was left — seasoned and fell off into the beans. And I loved those beans with ham. Problem was, since Mom needed to stretch that ham as far as it would go, and since I was competing with my 2 brothers and a sister for that ham, it just seemed there was never enough of the ham! Years have past and I still love beans with ham. Yesterday morning, I was rummaging through the freezer and I found a ham bone, saved from last Easter. Instantly, I knew what was for supper.
I started with dry pinto beans, washed but unsoaked. I added several cups of water and the ham bone. This went into the solar oven around 9 a.m. At 2:30 p.m., Rod made cornbread and put into the oven. At this time we stirred the beans, and turned over the ham bone. We removed everything from the oven at 5:00 p.m. (I think it was all done a little sooner, but the extra time didn’t hurt.) The cornbread was done, the beans were soft and tender, and the ham was falling off of the bone and seasoned up the beans just like I remembered. Delicious!!