Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Navy Bean Soup, Cornbread, Cinnamon Rolls

Back in high school we had a two week menu rotation. Prior to Vatican II we alternated fish sticks and grilled cheese on Fridays. Afterwards, it was hot dogs and pizza. Wednesdays, it was either chili with the best, fluffy cornbread or navy bean soup with huge, fluffy cinnamon rolls.

Being a bean lover, I was in hog heaven every Wednesday. It didn’t hurt that the cornbread came with honey butter or the cinnamon rolls were cinnamony and as big as a catcher’s mitt.
Family story time: We had our neighborhood ‘egg lady’ who came by every now and then. Mom always bought her farm fresh eggs. I loved that I could get double yolkers.
One day, three year old Debbie answered the door; the egg lady asked if Mom might like some navy bean. Debbie ran through the house to Mom and shouted, “Mom, Mom we got to get some ARMY beans!” After that, we always had army bean soup at home.

Navy Bean Soup
1 lb navy beans, picked over and washed
1 quart ham broth, with bits of ham
1 quart water
¼ onion, chopped small
4 dried tomatoes, chopped small
1 carrot, chopped small
  1. Put the navy beans, ham broth, and water in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for five to six hours.
  2. When the beans have softened, add the onion, tomatoes, and carrot and cook for another one to two hours.
Serves 6

Fluffy Cornbread
Preheat oven to 400F
 2 cups flour
 1 cup cornmeal
 1 TBSP baking powder
 1 cup sugar
 ½ tsp salt
 ½ cup canola oil
 1 ½ cups milk
 2 eggs

  1.  In a large mixing bowl, add and stir all the dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle of the bowl.
  2. In a quart measuring cup, add all the wet ingredients and beat to combine.
  3. Pour the wet into the well in the dry.
  4. Stir as little as possible to combine the ingredients.
  5. Pour into an 8x8 greased pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted in the center come out clean.
Serves 6

Honey Butter
1 cup butter
¼ cup honey

Beat together. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. Bring to room temp to serve.

Sticky Cinnamon Rolls
Preheat oven to 350F

1 cup milk, scalded
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
¼ cup butter
1 cup warm water
1 pkg dry yeast
5 ½ cups unbleached flour – more or less

  1. Add the sugar, salt, and butter to the milk and allow to cool.
  2. Mix the yeast with the warm water in a mixing bowl
  3.  Add the cooled milk mixture and let the whole thing sit for 10 minutes
  4.  Add 3 cups of the flour and beat smooth with a wooden spoon
  5.  Add enough flour to make soft dough
  6.  Turn out on to a floured surface and knead until the dough is elastic and smooth. It should be as firm as a baby’s bottom.
  7.  Put back into the greased mixing bowl, cover and allow to rise one hour.
  8.  Punch down and allow to rest 10 minutes.
  9.  Roll out to a rectangle 12x18 inches
Evenly cover the dough with:
 ½ cup melted butter
1 cup white sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar

 Starting at the narrow end, roll the dough and pinch the end to the roll.

 Prepare a 9x13 pan by greasing it

 Add to the bottom of the pan:
½ cup Karo light corn syrup
½ cup light brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Cut the roll into six 2 inch pieces and place in the pan. I put the end pieces with the cut side down
  2. Let rise 1 hour
  3. Bake 30 minutes
  4. Cool 10 minutes and turn out onto a platter to serve
  5.  Serves 6


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following me :-) I love blogging don't you? BTW, one thing I've never been able to get right is how to get the "gassy stuff" out of the beans. Do you have a tip for that?

  2. We just use Beano. It's the only thing that works for us. Either that, or sleep with the windows open ;)

  3. I am going to have to try the Cinnamon Rolls! We love those and they are stupid expensive at the store. I have never bought any yeast, how do they sell that? In packets or a box??