This is a meal I don’t make very often for several reasons, but it is a delicious meal! If anyone knows very much about me, they will know that even though, I have spent my life all over the world, both of my parents were born in Oklahoma, just north of Texas. Texas is full of cowboys and Mexicans, and Oklahoma is full of cowboys and Indians. Oklahoma used to be Indian Territory when my grandfather was born there. Both of my grandfathers wore cowboy hats, cowboy boots, cowboy shirts, cowboy belts, and cowboy ties and rode horses. My great grandfather was U.S. Marshal to Indian Territory, and my grandfather grew up among the Indians. My other grandfather was so proud to have a picture of his grandmother in the corner of his living room who came into Oklahoma in the Run, when the American government took the land from the Indians and gave it out to whoever could claim it. My grandmother’s family can trace their roots all the way to the east coast when the white men were burning the Indian’s homes, so my grandmother’s family ran, and after the Trail of Tears (when all the Cherokees were sent to Oklahoma in the dead of winter on foot) ended up in Oklahoma with all the other Cherokees. A lot of our history is sketchy and there is disagreement about a lot of it, but one thing for sure is they were cowboys and Indians and all ended up in Oklahoma. There is a meal they all ate that we hardly eat for several reasons, but I made it today, and my daughter was thrilled! I made beans, cornbread, and fried potatoes today.
One of the reasons I hardly make it is because the ingredients are hard to get here in Korea, but I went to the import shop a couple of weeks ago, and I have the ingredients. Another reason I hardly make it is because it is fattening, and I have always watched my weight, but that is one of the hard things: many delicious things are fattening. Another reason I hardly make it is because the beans take forever. I had to start the beans last night. You first take any stems or rocks out of your beans before you start and wash the beans. Next, you cover your beans with water and leave them setting to soak overnight. If you forget to do this, you can boil them first thing in the morning, turn them off and let them soak for an hour, and then cook them.
After I had soaked my beans overnight, about 9:00 this morning, I turned my beans on to get them started. I always remembered my mother complaining about burning her beans, so I watched the beans to make sure I didn’t let the water boil out of them and added water every time the water began getting low. It seems like in the past, it only took a few hours, but these beans took 8 hours to cook, and it drove me crazy! If you are in the States, it is better to use a crock pot or a pressure cooker, but neither of those items exist here, so if I am going to cook beans, I have to do it the way my grandmothers did it. Today, I was really wondering how they did it because they both worked in the fields and had children to take care of. I wondered how they cooked beans all day long and did those things at the same time. One of my grandmothers had 12 children, and she said she used to put her babies in a box and push the box along the row as she was picking the vegetables. How on earth did she have time to cook beans all day too? The women who came before us were truly wonder women!
When the bacon was done, I added the bacon and the bacon grease to the beans.
After boiling my beans all day, it was time to peel my potatoes and cut them up so I could have fried potatoes on the side. After I peeled the potatoes and cut them up, I didn’t fry them right away. First, I fried bacon in the frying pan. When the bacon was done, I added the bacon and the bacon grease to the beans and added salt to taste. By this time, my beans were soft, but I boiled them a little more with the bacon and bacon grease in them. The longer you cook those beans, the better they will taste.
Next, I put cooking oil in the frying pan and put my potatoes in to fry. While my potatoes were frying, I made the corn bread. I set my oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. I got out a big mixing bowl. I put two cups (450 grams) of corn meal in the mixing bowl. Next, I put two cups (450 grams) of flour in the bowl. After that, I put 1/2 cup (112 grams) of sugar in the bowl, then 8 teaspoons of baking powder. I mixed all the dry ingredients together.
I melted 1/2 cup (112 grams) of butter and added it to the corn bread batter)
Next, I put in two eggs and 2 cups (16 ounces) of milk. Lastly, I melted a half cup (112 grams) of butter and added the melted butter to the bowl. I mixed everything together with a spoon. All this time, I was watching my potatoes and turning them over with the spatula. I turned the beans off so I wouldn’t have to watch them anymore.
I greased and floured my baking pan.
Next, I put some oil in the bottom of a large baking pan. I completely covered the inside of the pan. Then, I dumped some flour in it and took it to the sink and shook it around so that the oil and the flour completely covered the inside of the pan. I dumped the corn bread batter into this.
I put the corn bread in the oven for 20-30 minutes. When I could put a fork in the middle of the cornbread and it came out clean, the corn bread was finished. When the potatoes were soft, I put a paper towel on a plate, and put the potatoes on the plate and salted them. I covered them with a pan until the corn bread was finished.
The dinner is done, and my daughter is thrilled! We enjoyed our dinner, but I told my daughter it will be a long time before I go ahead and cook beans again. This is the first time I have made this meal since my daughter and Korean son in law have been married. I hope he likes it when he comes home because it will be the first time he has eaten it.