Sunday, January 19, 2014

LeCreuset Ham and Bean Soup and a surprising trip to TJMaxx!

While it rarely gets cold enough here to snow in winter, it does get cold enough
to make one crave soup... Recently my someone was craving ham and bean soup!
However, the downside to not being home for the holidays is that there is
no leftover ham bone with which to make a good ham and bean soup. But
when I mentioned this to my friend Nikki over lunch one day, she said that
our local Honey Baked Ham store sells ham bones. Problem solved!
I couldn't believe it! Only two dollars per pound and, just look at all the
ham still left on that bone! Not only does this guarantee a fantastic soup,
it also means there's now no downside to not being home for the holidays!
Ham and bean soup is incredibly easy to make! All I do is chop up a stalk
of celery, four large carrots and two large onions; one white and one sweet
yellow. I toss all of that into one of my LeCreuset Dutch ovens where I've
heated a few tablespoons of olive oil and melted four tablespoons of unsalted
butter into a few cloves of crushed garlic and let it simmer just until the veggies
become translucent. Then I add my ham bone and add enough vegetable stock
to cover most of it and then, I let everything simmer for an hour or two...
Until the ham fall off the bone when poked with a fork. Then I remove
the ham bone from the pot and finish removing the ham by hand. After the
bone is clean, I cut up any large chunks of ham into semi-bite size pieces and
add it back to the pot. While the soup continues to cook, I bake cornbread!
Nothing is better with ham and bean soup than
cornbread covered in butter and drizzled with honey!
Or so I'm told... Because there is only one of us
that likes ham and bean soup in this house!
And, it's not me!
Nevertheless, I'm always happy to make it!
Besides, it means I don't have to cook
dinner for 3-4 days until the pot is empty!
Speaking of pots... We've been car-shopping for our youngest son for a couple of
weeks and yesterday's adventure took us to Lexington where our interaction with
a man selling a Dodge Durango left me in serious need of retail therapy to help
shake it off. The first place we stopped was Thomasville where I found this!
It's a vintage German kaufladen (shop) with lots of original advertising
pieces. I loved it but the $325 price tag kept me from dragging it home. One
of the things I always look for are language books and this shop had plenty!
The biggest surprise yesterday, following the surprise of how rude, stupid and
inconsiderate some people can be, was what I found at TJMaxx! Now, I rarely
shop at TJMaxx; however, my mom gave me a gift card so I decided to pop in!
Finding LeCreuset seconds didn't surprise me, (for those of you that
do not know, orange LeCreuset tags means these pieces are seconds)...
However, seeing all of this Ruffoni and Cu Artigiana copper cookware did!
I mean, really... Since when?
It would have been a sin not to take a piece home...
And I'm no sinner!


  1. Great looking soup Janet, just the sort of thing for the colder weather! Great shopping, I think that the Le Creuset would have to have come home with me!! The little German shop was divine, imagine all the little people who must have played with it!! Hope that you have a great week. xx

  2. Soup sounds yummy - reminds me of a pea and ham soup my mum used to make x

  3. Miss you Janet and your posts!! Hope all is well with you! Hoping I can see some beautiful cookies soon!

  4. Hi there! I recently purchased the exact Cu Artigiana pot you posted and was wondering if you knew how thick the copper is??

    1. Yes, I purchased a similar large CA, too. I did write to the company to ask, as it's not anywhere on the included information brochure. Looks thick, doesn't it?


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