Happy December, you guys! How was Thanksgiving for you? I would love to hear all about what you wonderful friends of mine did for Thanksgiving! I hope it was all good and that you got to rest and enjoy people you love and eat yummy holiday food to your hearts’ content! Maybe you could leave a comment here or write a blog post of your own about how your holiday was. I’d love it.
In the meantime, let me tell you about mine, since you’re already here reading. 🙂 I and my three sons went to spend Thanksgiving week with my beloved sister, Sherrin. There are certain things that are going to happen when Sherrin and I get together, especially with my sons:
1. We are going to go shopping at places like World Market and TJMaxx, and this time, Williams-Sonoma. Yummy.
2. We are going to go to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in Pensacola and wait for the “Hot Doughnuts” sign to begin flashing. (has anyone noticed that the price of KKs has gone up 100% since the ’90s? Wow.) We have been known to do this as late as midnight. You just never know when that sign is going to flash!
3. We are going to go to Pensacola Beach to put our toes in the sand; more of us than just toes if the weather is warm enough. (It wasn’t warm enough this time.)
4. We are going to laugh until our cheeks hurt and tears are streaming down our faces. (the boys take great joy in getting us to laugh this hard. They laugh at us laughing until we cry!) We usually laugh over the silliest things, like saying something the wrong way. It’s funniest when we’re going on four hours of sleep or so. 🙂
There are other things, of course, that we’ll do, but these are the necessary experiences for us when we visit my sister in Pensacola.
One highlight for me is also to see my friend from college, David, each time I visit Pensacola. He is an extraordinary person. He has foster-parented several older children in need, he has been a social worker, he has gone back to school to get his RN and graduated, he writes amazing things and is working on a play or screenplay, etc. Sherrin and Justin, my oldest son, and I were able to meet David for coffee one morning, and then another day we met with him and our mutual college friend Angela, and my college roommate Lisa and her whole family, too! I seldom get to see Lisa, so this was a huge treat. We basically took over Starbucks and laughed and talked and had a great time together for an hour or two. I loved it. I love these people!
Sherrin, Justin and I also went into a bakery on Nine Mile Road in Pensacola called The Cake Shop. The cupcakes pictured here were white chocolate; they had many other flavors, such as Hummingbird, Red Velvet, Apple Spice, Carrot, etc. They were very good! Then another day we tried out another bake shop closer to downtown, and they had quite a few more flavors, but the cupcakes were all over-baked and dry, and they were much more expensive. I’d go back to the one on Nine Mile any day. Loved it! Try them out if you’re in the area!
Now, let me share our “recipe” for mama’s green beans. It’s very simple. You’re really just throwing a few ingredients together.
Mama’s Green Beans with New Potatoes
1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh green beans
1/2 to 1 pound small red potatoes
about 3/4 cup salt pork, diced
One medium onion, chopped
1 TBS olive or canola oil, as needed
Seasonings: Tony Cacheres Original, or Cavender’s Greek seasoning, or simply salt and pepper.
Wash potatoes and green beans well. Snap the ends off beans and remove any strings as needed. (mine didn’t require it this time. This variety didn’t have strings.) We also snapped the beans in half, but that’s up to personal preference. It’s fine to leave them whole.
Place diced salt pork in a dutch oven or other large pot. Render the fat for a minute or two, but do not let the meat get crispy. Add chopped onion, and if not much fat has rendered to cook the onion in, add a tablespoon of olive or canola oil. Cook gently until onion is transparent.
Add a quart of water, and let the meat and onions gently simmer in that for ten minutes or so. Sprinkle in a teaspoon of seasoning, or of salt. (don’t add both, as those seasoning mixes I mentioned already contain a good deal of salt.)
After ten minutes, add the new potatoes. (We leave them whole so they don’t disintegrate.) Cook for 15 minutes, adding more water or chicken broth as needed.
Next, add your beans to the water. If they aren’t covered by the broth, add more broth or water to just cover.
Simmer beans and potatoes for as long as needed to achieve the amount of doneness you prefer. Some like a very crisp bean. I have to admit I like mine softer. I just keep simmering and testing until I get them perfect for us!
I bet many of you do something very similar to this when making your beans and potatoes, don’t you?
That’s it for today; tomorrow I’ll post about all the handmade things we did and saw over our Thanksgiving week! If you like crochet work, or pottery, or food, for that matter, check in with me tomorrow!
See you then! 🙂