Dried beans are an important winter staple in the southern diet. Pintos and black-eyed peas are the most frequently encountered, but white beans, October beans, “shelly” beans, and many others are also used. Simple cooking is the rule: a piece of pork fat, a pepper pod, and lots of water. Cooked dried beans usually get some kind of contrasting garnish at the table—a spoonful of chow-chow or freshly chopped onion. To almost all southerners, black or white, rich or poor, a bowl of hot pintos, cornbread, and a glass of cold buttermilk is a simple but complete meal.
A 3-quart (3 L) saucepan.
Cut the sidemeat into
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