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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alabama Catastrophe / Butter Beans

As I returned from Easter vaction with my beautiful daughter Lauren, her boyfirend Griff and my husband.  We enjoyed the beautiful white sands of Gulf Shores, AL. One thing made me uneasy as we approached Birmingham.  I noticed a few torn (felled as if someone had taken a razor and cut the tops off trees) tall pines by the side of the road. We came up 180, hit 59 and then traveled up I-65 N all the way into south Birmingham. While traveling  I-65 we stopped in Montgomery to hit the State Farmers Market picked up some beautiful produce including some pole beans, fresh speckled butter beans and also some other beautiful produce, went past Pratville and on to Birmingham. We picked up our dogs early at the vet in Pelham, AL -- learned that the vet was closing early, learned why later. We got home, noticed the tornado sirens were sounding off and the skies getting very cloudy and moving fast including fast winds. I washed the dogs off quickly, made a quick pot of chili, was glad of that, scarfed steaming bowls of chili with my husband w/saltine crackers and fed the dogs, turned the TV on and saw the news of a monster series of tornadoes coming. 

Then the power started going in and out.

We made the best of it, trying to watch a acouple of shows we had recorded, while in the background the news coverage of the tornadoes hitting played. We hunkered down for the night, said our goodnights and my daughter called to find out if we were ok. We were I told her, told her I loved her, not to worry and that I would call her in the morning. I made a note to myself to call her in the morning - otherwise I would meet my husband on the "other side" along with hordes of dogs which we have owned in the past (my rendition of what the other side is like).

I awoke the next morning, heard the stories of the devastation once I turned on the TV, checked with my husband's cousin Gail and found the family had survived but some of the devastation hit her daughter in Tuscaloosa while she was in a dorm at Univ of Alabama - the family is all OK but it is hard to not be able to do anything while you wait for the family to return calls. Gails daughter is going to try and make it to Birmingham today after helping her boyfriend with his house which was ripped apart in Tuscaloosa.

So, this is the day after, now I have connectivity and am looking what to do with the butter beans I bought as I listen to the devastation on the television - hoping I can continue to finish this blog post while I have connectivity and describe what happened last night.

Here is my simple southern recipe.

1 slice of partially cooked bacon
6 cups of water
 2 T minced vidalia onion
3 cups speckled fresh butter beans
1 T butter

Bring water, onion, butter and bacon to a boil. Add beans and cook for 1 hour, reduce heat to simmer. Add hot water as needed. Remove bacon.

Serve with rice, chicken and cornbread.

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