Sunday, January 10, 2010

A True Progressive Dinner

When I was a kid, my parents both worked and I learned how to cook. By the time I was eight, I was making full course family dinners. My mother worked for a bank, an hours drive from home and she was home less, so it kind of fell to my dad to teach me.

One of the first things he taught me to make was biscuits. Self rising flour and canned milk. Delicious, but I haven't made them in eons.

I was taught to make food go longer with leftovers, if there were any! Hence, a true progressive dinner...

We would get a ham. Cooked in the oven and sliced for dinner. Usually with fried potatoes and corn was the veggie of choice. After about two days of ham sandwiches and leftovers for dinner, we would move on to Pinto Beans. The ham bone would be used as stock for the beans. I learned how to use a Pressure Cooker, which was much faster and simply better than slow cooking beans for hours. The beans were out of this world. We always had fried potatoes with beans. We also used white bread to put under the beans to sop up the juice. If we were lucky, the white bread would be substituted with corn bread. Once I got married and learned how to cook steamed rice (the easiest thing in the world) we very rarely had fried potatoes again. After about two days of beans, next came chili. Everything in the fridge kind of chili with newly added browned burger. Leftover Beans, Shelby's chili kit, in the little paper bag, a can of beer, salsa, steak sauce, velveeta (yes, velveeta, don't do that anymore either) other random ingredients and pickle juice. To this day I buy dill pickles for the juice to go in chili made a couple times a year. Never eat the pickles.

So, from ham, to beans and ham, to chili, it could last a good week and nothing would go to unused. We sometimes had veggies, but they were limited, corn, okra, tomatoes, cucumber and green beans. I don't know if it had to do with little knowledge about vegetables on my parents part, or money that kept us from having yummy broccoli, artichokes and asparagus. I never tried any of these until after I moved out.

David told me last night he liked the progression of the ham to chili dinner. The beans and rice were delicious, if I do say so myself!


lightfeather said...

I was so glad to see you! I like those kinds of progressions too. I do them with the Thanksgiving turkey. LOL! I plan to try and keep up the blogging again and look forward to meeting up with all of my old friends here!! If you would like to catch up on my last few years, please visit my MySpace at where I have lots of pictures, stuff, and my journey. Life is better than good, it is marvelous!

Danielaphant said...

I think with that menu, they'll make you an honorary Texan. These things are all staples at my mother-in-law's house. Rex could eat beans every night for dinner and whenever he gets a chance to cook, that's what we have. Add some collards to the mix, and you've got yourself a pretty healthy very cheap dinner.

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alan said...

Nice to find you here again!

My Dad was a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy; vegetables were limited to green beans, peas, corn and in the summer he would eat a salad along with his meat and potatoes.

Okra was something that was always breaded and fried, and though he (and I) both loved it, my Mom couldn't cook it "right" so that was always a treat we got when we got to his Mom's house.


lightfeather said...

Checkin' in to see if you had updated... Baby Bella up :-)

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