Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beans 'n Bacon


There is almost nothing more fun than poking through an old cookbook. And this old cookbook, published in 1966, is a doozy.


I'm pretty sure I bought it at a library book sale, and have tried maybe half a dozen recipes from it over the years. The recipes are excellent -- easy to make, different, and, as you might guess from the title, economical.

And the text is grand fun to read. This is from the foreword, by Louise Bogan: "Poets are often out of funds. Many times they try to keep body and soul together by eating candy bars, apples, doughnuts, and an occasional hamburger, usually standing up. This is a mistake. Meals should be eaten sitting down."

The dish I made tonight, called simply "Conde," starts with sauteed pieces of bacon and sliced green onions. Add to it a can of kidney beans and a couple of other ingredients, and you've got an inexpensive dish that you can serve with a salad, some fruit, a roll perhaps, and call it dinner.

1/4 lb. bacon, diced
4 green onions, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 1/2-lb. can kidney beans
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 c. water
1/4 t. gumbo file powder (I didn't have this, and after looking it up online, decided I didn't need to substitute anything for it)

Brown the bacon and onions in large skillet. Add rest of the ingredients except for the file powder and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in the file powder and serve.

Do you have a favorite "nickel dinner," as author Ann Rogers puts it?

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18 Comments:

Blogger Karenpie said...

Hi Lynn!
So- is this a soup? It looks like a yummy soup.

My favorite "nickel diinner" Is hamburger bean casserole.

1# hamburger + half a chopped onion - brown together (you can add half a chopped green pepper, too, but my kids don't like gr. pepper).

When that's cooked and the onion is soft, add 2-15 oz. cans pork and beans. Stir it up and add:
1 T. mustard (not powdered)
2 T. ketchup
1 T. brown sugar

The original recipe says to put in a 8x8 pyrex and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. I can't be bothered with such nonsense and I let it simmer on the stove until we're ready to eat. It feeds my family of 5 for about $6!

May 12, 2010 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger teresa said...

this looks so yummy, what a fun book!

May 12, 2010 at 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Juliana said...

Interesting book, and this bean dish looks yummie with all the ingredients in it :-)

May 12, 2010 at 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Faith said...

I love reading old cookbooks...I think they tell so much about culture at the time. This recipe looks like a real keeper!

May 12, 2010 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger DarcyLee said...

Oh, I love the old cookbooks, too and I'm always on the look-out for one at thrift stores and yard sales. Just about any kind of bean dish can be inexpensive if you don't add the pricier ingredients to them. I have a Tuscan White Bean Soup that I make: onions, white beans, garlic, chicken broth, salt, and rosemary. It is so good with homemade bread. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us. I'll have to try it!

May 12, 2010 at 5:27 PM  
OpenID barbaraheide said...

looks like you have some great recipe's! thanks for the comment on my blog!

May 12, 2010 at 6:59 PM  
Anonymous tasteofbeirut said...

Love that cookbook! It is just the type of book that I woud get. Very retro. Love that recipe too. Did you feel like a poet eating it?

May 12, 2010 at 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Ally said...

I love old cook books too! My great grandmother used to have an AMAZING collection, but after she passed away, they got sold and separated--

I wish some of them would have come my way!

Your recipe looks good--probably tasted good too :)

Thanks for sharing!

May 13, 2010 at 4:01 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

I like beans! Dh will eat them occasionally but the kids won't. :(

May 13, 2010 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

That's like the perfect dinner. And I've been looking for something like this!

May 14, 2010 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Katy ~ said...

Still cackling over the quote from your book.

Beans and bacon are always good.

Nickel dinner? In the old days it was a can of chili over cooked rice. Or sometimes just "dirty rice", you know cooked hamburg with rice. Whatever it was, rice was typically involved, smiles.

May 15, 2010 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger ~~louise~~ said...

Uh oh, there's a cookbook I don't have amongst us...It reminds me of The Starving Student's Cookbook which btw does not include a recipe for Beans 'n Bacon, intriguing...

Thanks for sharing, Lynn...

May 16, 2010 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Farm Girl said...

Oh my gosh, I just read through your profile, I have your book!!!! I have been doing it weekly this year, How funny is that. I love it too. You have made me laugh at myself. It sits on my nightstand and each Monday I read though a chapter.
Wow, a real author,
Thanks for stopping by and for all the things your wrote about.

May 19, 2010 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Karenpie -- It's not a soup, but it's definitely soup-y. I served it using a slotted spoon, but then ended up adding back a fair amount of the juice to my bowl, because the juice was gooooood! :)

May 19, 2010 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Thanks, Karenpie and DarcyLee and Katy for the nickel dinner suggestions. You can never have too many frugal recipes on hand.

Tasteofbeirut, I felt like QUITE the poet eating this dish. You'll have to let me know if you do, too :)

Louise, Ally, Faith, I think you may have to keep your eyes wide open for an opportunity to get this cookbook. It's a real winner, in my opinion.

May 19, 2010 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Farm Girl, how fun is that, that you're reading through Queen of the Castle! Very cool. Thanks for sharing that. You made my day.

May 19, 2010 at 6:48 PM  
Blogger dicity said...

I have this cookbook!! I got it for Christmas from my daughter. Did you see the cookie recipe that takes 2 years to make?? You make a dough, let it sit a year, make the cookies and let them sit a year and then eat them. I thought I'd like to try them. I wish I remembered the name, maybe German or Dutch. Kinda cool.

dicity

June 14, 2010 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Dicity, cookies that take two years to make -- that is too funny! I just looked through my book and found the recipe. The cookies are called Leckerlein, and the instructions are on pg. 154-155. You will have to let me know how they turn out! And you are more patient than I. The longest I've waited for a recipe to be "done" is a few months, which is how long it takes for the plum liqueur I make with our backyard plums to develop. Have you made anything else from the book? I like the omelet on pg. 9-10, the veggies on pg. 24, and the Peasant Potatoes on pg. 78.

June 14, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

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