Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Writer's Got To Eat - Cooking For One

You know it's times like this I really dread following Dionne, Miss "Everything I cook is so wonderful that I must put it in my books as well". Sorry Dionne a little envy in my heart there, I shall repent forthwith!
Still my single friends are getting a little tired of my stew so a new recipe is needed, which I call Crock Pot Black Bean Soup.  I know, not that creative of me but that's what it is, and besides it all came about from a culinary attempt that did not work so well. Well actually it did work, but that was an accident. I come up with my best recipes that way.
One day I decided I was going to try and make a version of one of my mother's dishes Ham Hock and Beans. Do not ask me why, because  I do not like ham hock and beans. I know I'm the culinary mutant of the family all of who love the stuff. I do not, but for some reason I it got in my head so I decided to give it a try. I mean how hard could it be? Put a ham hock, beans, water and spices and let it cook in the crock pot for 8 hours.
Did I actually ask how hard it could be? For Dionne no problem. For me?
The kindest thing I can say is that when it was done, it was totally tasteless.
I don't know what I did, too much water, ham hock too small I don't know, but I know one thing. I can't afford to waste food! So I panicked and started throwing things into the pot. Vegetables, canned tomatoes, some left over onion soup mix, and I don't know what else. Well the end result was I ended up with a not bad tasting soup. Which got me thinking....
I wonder if I can do this on purpose?
So I asked a few of my friends and decided I would try a black bean soup. Black beans being smaller and more likely to take in flavors. Learning from experience I checked out my pantry to see what I had left over from my late mother's culinary reign. That's when I found this canister

Hmm, This Could Be Dangerous
In spite of the caption, my first reaction honestly was great! Dried black beans, now I don't have to buy them. But then I opened the can and found this

What The Heck Is This?
I joke, but they are beans, and some of them are black. I'm just not sure what kind the rest are. But what the heck I decided to use them and they cook up just fine. I call them my mystery beans. I'll probably never find them again because I had no idea Mom even had them let alone where she got them. So once these are gone I guess I will switch to regular black beans. Unless someone else knows what they are.
Like I said, most things are not easy for me, but not this soup. Here's how you make it:


One Hamhock
1/2 Cup Water
1 14.5 oz canned tomatoes (Stewed, Regular, Italian Style take your pick) Do NOT drain them!
1/2 of a medium onion (hey you can use the other half from the stew)
2 stalks of celery
One carrot
1/2 package of onion soup mix
1 Bay Leaf (apparently they are in soups as well, which is good because I have whole jar to use)
1/3 cup dried black beans

The night before place beans in pot of cold water and refrigerate over night.
Next morning drain and rinse beans and put in crock pot. The rest of the cooking will be done there.
Cut up vegetables in thick chunks, put all ingredients into crock pot, give a stir and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours. 

After that, fish out the bay leaf and

Soup's On!

Enjoy because it's good, with leftovers for later!

Mystery writer C.L. Ragsdale is the author of The Reboot Files a Christian Cozy Mystery Series, and a superhero story called Chasing Lady Midnight. A California native, she loves to "surf" the web to research plot details for her fun, quirky stories. She has a degree in Theatre Arts which greatly influenced her writing style. Working in various fields as a secretary has allowed her to both master her writing skills and acquire valuable technical knowledge which she uses liberally in her plots. Although that is where she got her idea for The Secretary, she is not an evil mastermind. Although some of her former employers might disagree. These days she contents herself with knitting while contemplating her next diabolical plot. Story plot that is.

Current E-Books
THE REBOOT FILES:  The Mystery of Hurtleberry House, The Island of Living Trees, The Harbinger of Retribution, and The Wrong Ghost.


  1. Cindy, I agree with Nancy. You're so funny! Your recipe sounds delicious.

  2. You know what's scary? That this is the way my mind works.
    And yes the soup is really good, and easy. Two of my favorite things when it comes to cooking.


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