One of the most important lessons I learned from my mother before I left for college, was how to take care of myself in case my dollar didn’t stretch as far as I wanted it to. I’m sure you can’t tell, but we weren’t born with a silver spoon in our mouths, and we’ve had to make do with what we’ve had quite a few times. My very fluffy body type also misguides you, I’m certain, but nevertheless, here’s a meal that I’ve fallen back on in times of lean AND plenty. Good thing is, I’ve used it more for times of plenty, just because it makes me so darned happy. Usually, “poor man meals” make me unhappy. Think pork ‘n beans and hotdogs. I hate them. I hate them mostly because they’re disgusting together – according to my palate – and always reminded me of when we may have run out of time in the kitchen, so they were whipped up quickly. Still hate them. The great thing is this is a three ingredient meal that you can make in one pot, and be done. Super easy!
Anyway, this meal is loved in the house, by me, because I only need one pot, and by my family because it’s super filling, and usually comes with cornbread. Homemade of course. I can’t do Jiffy, although I will fold sometimes because I become all nostalgic and think about my sister.
What You Need
6 Large Potatoes
2 pounds of fresh green beans, or 32 oz bag of frozen green beans
Any smoked meat (I use smoked turkey tails or necks – but you can use hamhocks or turkey wings)
Put your smoked meat into a pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and let the water soak up the flavor from the meat. It will have a layer of oil on top, depending on what meat you use. Leave it. It’s flavor.
Snap fresh green beans and put them in to cook after water has boiled for about 30 minutes. Let cook for 30 minutes longer.
Season your pot – I use garlic powder, pepper, salt (trust me – the potatoes that you add will soak the majority of the salt up) to taste. Don’t over salt, because your smoked meat will provide the majority of it, but you don’t want to wait until the end to season, because it will be too heavy.
Peel, and quarter potatoes. Then cut each quarter into four equal sizes. Drop the potatoes in for the last 15 minutes of boiling or until tender.
That’s it. No science to it. No huge chopping, or secret ingredients. I actually had the kids snap the green beans, and didn’t even really check after they were done. I did rinse them though, because…kid germs. However, it was something that they could do, while I was peeling and chopping potatoes, and it maximized gross motor skills. So – in your face homeschool challenges for the summer!
I usually make cornbread with this – whether it’s a pan of skillet cornbread, or hot water cornbread (which is almost like johnnycakes, but not as fluffy – essentially, they are personal portions of cornbread that you don’t bake. )
I’m not sure what you’re waiting on, but you should go ahead and put this on the list of meals to make for those awesome autumn days during the school year, because it’s hearty, and super tasty!