Gregg has two favororite meals that he grew up with. One was - and is - Boiled Ham and Cabbage and the other is Navy Bean Soup. He has another favorite, Tapioca Pudding. His Mom, Bea was a great cook and always made him ham and cabbage on his birthday with the pudding for dessert, and after she used to make her Navy Bean Soup with the ham bone. Gregg just had a birthday and not to flaunt tradition I made him his favorite dishes. I am sharing the recipe for the soup here. I don't have one for the others as the ham and cabbage is just thrown together into the pot and the tapioca pudding has the recipe on the side of the box.
Take l lb. of navy beans, put them in a strainer and rinse under cold water, picking out any bits of grit or dark beans. Pour the beans into a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Put back into the strainer and rinse again.
To the saucepan add the beans, one finely chopped yellow onion, 6 peeled whole cloves of garlic, 3 grated carrots, two diced ribs of celery and a large meaty ham bone. Cover with water, bring to a boil and then simmer for about two hours.
Take the bone out of the pot, remove any meat and cut into small bite-sized pieces. Put the meat back into the pot and discard the bone. Season to taste. I use our family favorite - I will always thank my Mother-in-Law for telling me about Lawry's Seasoned Salt and Pepper - and voila, Navy Bean Soup to enjoy with lots of left overs unless an army is turning up for dinner.
Note: only one Batman band-aid was used in making this soup.
Word of caution: don't try to grate every last little nub of carrot okay? And most definitely don't grate as fast as I was grating, or at least stay away from the coffee beforehand, otherwise you might find yourself grating your knuckle! Instead, STOP when you have about an inch of carrot left and treat yourself to a nice healthy snack. BETTER STILL, use the food processor. Mine wore out and I never replaced it. I'm going to try and be a good girl this year and my grated knuckle and I will be asking Santa for one next Christmas.