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In Anticipation of Wintry Days in the New Year

Posted On December 2, 2022

In Anticipation of Wintry Days in the New Year


By Tom Pinkston




This is just an excuse to share a recipe.

Not that any of us need an excuse to trade recipes,

just thought I’d share one of mine, a good one for this time of year.

And I’d love it if you’d share one of yours.

In this time of transitions, resolutions and returns,

there’s one question that remains eternal – ‘what’s for dinner?’

Answer that question and everything else will fall into place. More or less.


‘Dinner’ used to mean the midday meal

supper was the meal at the end of the day

and breakfast is to break the fast of the night before.


The new year. We made that up too.

Make of it what you will, by all means, within reason of course.

This here is just an excuse to share a recipe.


ps. You might be wondering – where’s the ham and the redeye gravy, the greens, black-eyed peas and cornbread? Don’t worry – did all that. This is for later when the hullabaloo winds down.


Laid Back Bean Stew


The Beans

I like to start with a pot of humble navy beans – they’re perfect and have a history worth delving.

Soak ‘em overnight, see-you-in-the-morning little beans.

In the morning, drain the pot (save a little if you want) and add a quart of chicken stock plus enough water to get it up an inch or two above bean level

start a boil

big hunk of pork with a nice fat-to-lean ratio. Best thing to use is Mom’s ham bone that she froze after Christmas dinner. You just have to promise a Tupperware full of the end result. That’s easy.

Add a chopped vidalia (no substitutes here please and they’re available all year, I like to imagine a great big root cellar somewhere in northern Georgia maintained by an elderly couple who look familiar)

minced garlic – however much

dried thyme and several bay leaves

salt and pepper – not too much, you can always add more

and add some pepper flakes if you like – that’ll clear your head, get those sinuses open again

after the boil let it simmer uncovered til the sausage is ready.


The Sausage

If you make your own meatballs, may the Lord bless you keep you

but don’t worry if you don’t

I get mine from the butcher and they’re pretty tasty

roast ‘em whole – give ‘em that hour, their glorious hour.

The aromas intertwine now and drift through the house as lovers embraced.


Cover the beans on low and let the meatballs rest. It’s raining out with a possibility of the ‘wintry mix’ boogeyman, so take a nap.


The Stew

When you wake, look outside. Let it do whatever – we ain’t going nowhere.

Taste the beans, adjust if need be.

Crumble in the meatballs, tasting one while you’re at it.

You’re getting hungry…

A little simmer til you can’t stand it anymore.

“What time is it?”

“Bean stew o’clock.”

Bowls for however many and a little of everybody’s favorite cheese on top

bread, stew and some easy company in a warm kitchen,

what could be better for a new year.