Thursday, May 29, 2008

Family Recipe: "Mama's" Beans and Rice

This recipe is not from my Mama, but my brother, tuba player in Mama Dig Down's Brass Junction. Erik is a tuba player almost from birth, actually 4th grade, but it was in his blood from birth. Our grandfather and two uncles played tuba and it seems like Erik was destined to be a great tuba player. He's had music in his bones and as long as I can remember and he has taught me and Krista to enjoy music too. He's a school social worker by day, but a New Orleans style tuba player any chance he can get. Check out his band's website if you get a chance.

Erik's square is a painted one, representing a local Minneapolis reggae band we used to go see and dance to at outdoor venues. We were 16 and 18, driving downtown to outdoor festivals, thinking we owned the city of Minneapolis. I'm not sure if Ipso Facto is still together, but Erik, Krista and I seek out live concerts as often as we can.
Recipe: Mama's Beans and Rice
1 pound red kidney beans
1 finely chopped green pepper
2-3 finely chopped stalks of celery
1 finely chopped large onion
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 pound ham or smoked sausage
2 tsp. salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover the beans. Rince and drain the beans and put them in a large pot with enough water to reach 1 inch above the beans. Slice the meat into bite-sized pieces, then saute it in the skillet. When it is browned, put it aside and saute the green pepper, garlic, onion and celery. Once they start to brown, add them to the pot, along with the meat. Add to the pot the bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat slightly and keep the beans at a medium boil for about 2 hours, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat slightly and keep the beans at a medium boil for about 2 hours. Stir the beans occasionally until they begin to get creamy. If necessary, add more water along the way. Heap onto a plate of white rice and add some hot sauce if you like.
Afterwards, head to New Orleans to Cafe du Monde for some beignets and cafe au lait. Mmm. Or find a recipe and make your own. Yum!

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