Friday, April 17, 2009

Beans and Rice

 
 
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Most of my father's military tours were in Europe and Turkey, but when we were lucky enough to live in the states my father was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi.

As a young girl I loved the Mississippi Gulf Coast! There was so much for a little girl to do back then. We fished and crabbed the piers and rocks. We hunted tadpoles and sold them for pocket money. There were always school presentations, talent contests and fun family entertainment nights that took us a week to write, produce and perform.

One of our houses intersected with the road that emptied onto Beach Boulevard, with the Jefferson Davis Home, Beauvoir, on the corner. Back then, my mother allowed my sister and I to walk to the beach and even tour Beauvior by ourselves. My mother's only rule-hold hands when we crossed the big highway!

School lunches in the south were remarkably different from the school lunches on military bases overseas. Both left lasting impressions and hold a special place in my heart today!

One southern favorite from my school days was white beans served over steamy white rice. I worked the school cafeteria as a milk maid! Loved to pour the icy cold milk from the shiny stainless steel milk dispenser into these curvy-squatty glasses! Occasionally, I was allowed to ladle the beans onto the hot rice.

I still make white beans and rice for an easy dinner! Happily my husband loves them as much as I do! He often requests them and they are so easy! I make them the long way when I have time-but if not, I open these wonderful cans of Italian white beans, add a little smoky proscuitto, fresh garlic, green onions and spices. I can have this inexpensive, healthy meal on the table in under 30 minutes.

Here's an old tip from The Mystery Chef's (1930's cookbook) book I tried this week and it worked. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to your beans to reduce the discomfort (?) from eating beans! I tried it! Magic!
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