Today’s breakfast has been a while in the making. Here’s what I mean:
Our Christmas dinner menu was centered around a spiral sliced ham. That’s sliced, as you know, around a leg bone. Having a bone-in ham is a tradition in my family for one reason. Beans. Some of you know what I mean, but in case you don’t, here goes the evolution of today’s breakfast.
Following Christmas dinner, my job is trim the uneaten ham from the hambone (but not too close a trim). The ham then goes into two containers; one for ham that will be used for breakfast side meat, maybe a lunch, and sandwiches when we all head back to work. In other words, sliced ham. The other container contains the hambone. The hambone is destined for one purpose, and only one purpose. Beans. In some families the hambone is used for soup. But we live in Texas, and are also Christians, so we use our hambones for beans. I can’t articulate why either of those are qualifying factors for the bean preference, but it feels right and I’m sticking to it.
A few nights ago, I took our loosely trimmed hambone and placed it in our slow cooker. After rinsing a pound of pinto beans, I threw them in the cooker, and covered them with water. All that remained was to add a little garlic, diced tomatoes, chili powder and cumin. And then we waited. The cooking of the beans cannot be rushed. After all, we’re talking about an evolution here.
The next evening’s supper was simple and satisfying. Pinto beans seasoned with a hambone, and day old French bread. I didn’t say particularly nutritious – just simple and satisfying. The leftover hambone beans were returned to the fridge, for they had not completed their evolution.
This morning’s breakfast was Huevos Rancheros, and where our beans evolved from a hambone completed their purpose. I’m hoping you know about Huevos Rancheros, but if you don’t, they’re basically “rancher’s eggs”. It’s a traditional Mexican layered egg dish. The layers consist of a tortilla (we prefer flour) base with re-fried beans spread on top. The beans are then covered with fried eggs and ranchero sauce consisting of diced onions, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and diced tomatoes.
Last night I took our leftover hambone beans, heated them in a skillet, and mashed them into refried beans, ready to glue this morning’s eggs to their tortillas.
I guess this whole evolution could be simplified to look some like this:
Beans—–> refried beans
Refried beans——> Huevoes Rancheros
Yea, let’s go with that.