Saturday, August 14, 2010
Cooking with Fire
One of my favorite things to do, although I don't do it very often, is to cook outside over a fire. We have a place in our backyard that has an old steel tire rim and we use that as our fire "pit." It has seen many weenie roasts through the years, and an occasional complete meal.
Two years ago we experienced very high winds because of a hurricane that hit down south. We live in Indiana, but it was strong enough that it knocked our electric power out for a week, and left the yard littered with branches and leaves. Fortunately, the only trees that fell on our property were in the woodlot, and we didn't sustain any damage to our home.
Our oldest daughter and her 3 little girls were visiting us at the time. We were blessed all week with warm (not hot) days, and cool nights and no rain. It was perfect! I kept a fire going and cooked outside for us the whole time. It was so much fun! You know how it is, when the power is out, there isn't all that much to do in the house anyway. I can't remember everything, but here is what I do remember cooking ~ bean with bacon soup, Johnny cakes, biscuits, cherry pie, scrambled eggs, and on the last night I made steak and baked potatoes and some vegetables. My daughter is somewhat of an expert at outdoor cooking, so her advice was invaluable.
I LOVE cooking with real fire. When I was growing up, I remember my mother saying "NOW you're cooking with gas!" I don't know where that originated, but what it meant was that you are doing something in a very effective manner.
Wonder of wonders ~ we have a new stove and it is not electric. It is propane! For me, it is a dream come true. It is a wonderful stove and is so much easier to use than my old worn out electric range. Don't get me wrong, I have always been grateful for whatever stove I had; partly because I have not always had a stove. And yet... oh, my... this new one has me smiling ear-to-ear. When you turn it on, it is ON. When you turn it off, it is OFF. It heats things up much more quickly than the old range. It bakes like a dream. If you are a cook, I am sure you can understand my excitement and gratitude.
Today I am making some simple bean with bacon soup.
BEAN WITH BACON SOUP
1 pound Great Northern Beans
3 thick slices of bacon
Salt and pepper
The day before, soak the beans in plenty of water with 1/4 cup lemon juice added.
When you are ready to make the soup, drain and rinse the beans.
Slice the bacon into little pieces.
Chop the onion.
Put a heavy bottomed pan on your stove and fry the bacon and onions together.
Add the drained beans and enough water to cover by a couple of inches.
Bring to a simmer and carefully skim off as much of the foam as you can.
Cover the pot and set on a low heat and cook for at least 2 hours, and if you like, you can cook it a lot longer, but check from time to time and see if you need to add more boiling water.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! We like ours with homemade cornbread and butter. We also like to eat some raw onion slices on the side.
This is a very simple, homely meal, very satisfying and economical.