Now I know this is a perfectly normal thing to do with a good bone, but it was a notion the girls had never heard of—much less coming from their mother who has stuck closely to a repertoire of “family requested” meals for twenty years. Bean soup has never been attempted and is not on the list. (Though it is was part of my childhood menu along with Spanish Rice, Goulash, and a dozen things my Mom made with hamburger before “Hamburger Helper” was invented.)
So the bone and its clinging meat was picked up by two fingers, dropped in a Ziploc bag, and placed on a shelf in the fridge. To be honest, I thought it would stay there until the next “cleansing” (Julie's weekend ritual of purging left-overs from our foraging eyes). But to my surprise, a few days later, she came home with three bags (six pounds) of Northern beans and her mind made up to use that bone. I cautioned her that that was A LOT of beans, but what do I know?
A brief call to her mother (who is a true veteran of the country kitchen) confirmed that one bag of beans per pot of soup would be plenty. Julie forgot that cooked beans more than quadruple in size—good thing she called Mom or we would have had steaming beans oozing like lava through the night all over the kitchen.
This morning being a holiday, we woke late to a wonderful aroma of marrow and bone and meat and beans in an unseen simmering pot. It's the kind of smell that has drawn mankind to the cottage stove through the centuries. Kim was the last to rise, and she sauntered to the breakfast table rubbing sleep from her eyes as Julie stirred the soup with satisfaction.
“Want a taste of what’s for lunch?” she asked, extending a wooden spoon.
Kim looked over the counter and blinked twice into the pot.
“It looks like something from Oliver.” She said with a smile.
“It’s ‘food glorious food,’” Julie sang, but Kim did not look convinced.
Personally, I can’t wait 'til noon to have a bowl, but something tells me that the girls will not be saying in their best cockney dialects, “Please, Sir, I want some... more.” We'll see...
P.S. Same day:3:30PM: The soup was delicious. Julie and I enjoyed it and a pleasant conversation at our table for two. Somehow the girls managed to be at the mall over lunch. We set some aside for supper, but I suspect these "meat and potato" girls will not help the cause and there will be plenty of bean soup in next week's "cleansing."