Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Bean soup, cornbread, and BBC mysteries

The outside world continues to be cold and cloudy but there is a pot of ham and bean soup simmering on the back burner of my stove.   I simply poured some pinto beans in my smaller stockpot and covered them with water after finishing the dinner dishes last night... left the pot on the kitchen counter overnight... and drained them this morning before adding fresh water and half an onion.

The aroma is lovely and it will be nice to have dinner already prepared.  The evening meal was inspired by a ham bone with a nice chunk of leftover ham and reading An Everlasting Meal.  I plan a Recent Reading post soon but I can say that the book, if it doesn't change your life... will challenge your cooking.

Along with the bean soup, I plan to stir together a batch of cornbread and bake it in the iron skillet.  My mother would say you cannot have one without the other.

Such a dinner always reminds me of my mother (who was a widow with seven children when she met my father) and had survived for awhile on bean soup.   Bean soup and cornbread were comfort foods to my siblings even as adults.

The winter is now in that stage where one stands at the French door to the deck and watches the snow on the raised beds, longing for spring and new life.  I've been enjoying a lot of reading and bread making and soup stirring and hot beverages... but cabin fever is setting in.  It always does by February.

At least last night I could look forward to watching Downton Abbey.  I usually watch it on Sunday night but unfortunately the Super Bowl got exciting just about the time Downton was on, and since I knew it is rebroadcast Monday night... I turned the TV over to Hubby and retired to my bed to read.

Victoria was already there, curled up next to the pillows.  She opened one eye and looked at me as if I was welcome as long as I didn't disturb her.

Speaking of British programs, I've been watching DCI Banks on Masterpiece Mystery.  I wasn't sure if I would like it but it has been growing on me (reminds me a lot of the broody feeling of Wallander).

Anyway, I was watching it Saturday evening when the new character was introduced and I kept thinking she looked familiar.  Then I realized she was Louisa on Doc Martin.  Now, that is a good actress when you know she looks the same and sounds the same but one still can't wrap their thinking around her in a different role.

I have that happen quite often with British TV and movies.  Like... the dad from Larkrise seems so different as Mr. Bates on Downton Abbey.  However, my most difficult transition was watching Tom (in MI-5) as Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice.  Although he made a fabulous Mr. Darcy, it was a totally different role from that of spymaster.

In case you wonder... yes, I do love BBC mysteries, comedies, and dramas on PBS.  They are my favorite form of relaxation on Saturday and Sunday evenings.  ;)

I read that there will be one more season produced this year of Doc Martin (probably in the USA early 2014) and only one more season produced of my favorite Inspector Lewis shows.  I'm still hoping they produce another season of Foyle's War, rumor has it that they are.

Okay, it is time to stop chatting about food and film to stir the soup... can't have the beans sticking to the bottom of the stock pot.


Elizabeth said...

A lovely post ! I enjoy making soup on a cold winter day and I love Downton Abbey!

Sarah said...

You remind me of Ma in "The Long Winter", who was a natural at thinking up ways to stretch meals and be thrifty in cooking. :) I am reading that right now and had to stop by and comment! Love your blog.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I recently began Doc Martin, but didn't have the chance to finish the first episode. I'll have to try to get back to that!

Have you watched North and South? Based on Elizabeth Gaskell's book? Mr.Bates is in that one too - blue collar union type.

We love seeing our favorite actors in different movies!

Can't wait to hear more about that book!


Unknown said...

Oooooooo...I curled up last night after the kids were in bed and watched the latest Downton also! I'm glad to hear about some other BBC shows that you enjoy! :)

Can you get these on the web? Or through the library? :)

Vee said...

Happens to me all the time...that of seeing an actor and knowing him or her from somewhere else. It happened with Stephanie Cole just recently who played as Martin's aunt...the first one...who also played the part of Diana in "Waiting for God."

I understand that Doc Martin only films every other year, which gives all the actors the opportunity to do other things in between. I'd hate to see that one go. It's so perfectly quirky.

Enjoy the bean soup... Sounds very good.

Anonymous said...

Nothing better than beans and cornbread (especially with a ham bone cooked in the beans). Made a big pot of vegetable beef soup Sunday morning that will see us through two or three days (I love having leftovers to have another day and soup just gets better the second day). Stay cozy and warm and enjoy curling up in your
"nest" enjoying your books.
Blessings, Sharon D.

Anonymous said...

I remember how surprised I was when I discovered that Julia Sawalha (Dorcas Lane) in Larkrise to Candleford was also Lydia in Pride and Prejudice.

Thoughts for the day said...

Your quiet day sounds wonderful and I do love bean soup.
Haven't gotten into the Downtown Abby show. Perhaps some day I will rent them out and do a 'marathon'. Have heard they are very good.

Thoughts for the day said...

Well my first comment went away.
Your soup sounds wonderful and your peaceful house is very inviting.

Grace Alexander said...

I am so enjoying "Lark Rise to Candleford", and seeing "Mr. Bates" in a different role...such interesting characters. I have to get this series through Netflix by mail, and eagerly await each disc coming. Thank you for all your blogs. God bless you and your family for ministering to our hearts!

Heather said...

Now, I am ready for beans and cornbread. ;o)

If you have watched all the episodes of Jeeves and Wooster you will recognize Doc Martin as a later Bingo Little. ;o)

I really want that book! ;o)

I am huge period drama fan, BUT, now here comes the sacrilege... I don't care for Downton Abbey. ;o)

Enjoy your lovely dinner.

Anonymous said...

Hearty soup, cornbread and a good show sounds like a great combination on a cold day.

HeatherMavis said...

"Name that actor" is a little game my husband and I have been playing for years now (though we don't always know them by their real name but as another character they played). Our favorites are BBC productions too.
I need to make some bean soup and corn bread too.

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

I always make cornbread with bean soup - it just seems so natural!

I'll have to watch an episode of DCI Banks. I rather liked Wallander.

I'm right there with you - I love my BBC shows!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

Such cozy days I've missed by not checking in! I do love your recommendations so much...especially fun when you mix delicious, wholesome food with great shows! You know how much I love combining the two...like you!
P.S. I related to the part about Victoria :))) our two seem to take turns taking over our bed!