I’ve had a hankerin’ for some beans for a while. Growing up with six kids in the family meant beans were definitely part of the normal rotation. Mom knew how to stretch a dollar when it came to feeding us and nothing was ever wasted. Sunday’s roast became Thursday’s hash and bits of this and that went into a pot of soup.

She had her favorite menus… red beans with spinach or navy beans with a ham bone and a loaf of Larraburu french bread – it was all called french bread back then – to sop up the juices. Beans are a great and versatile high-protein product. And the ultimate in comfort food. Pop drove a Larraburu bread truck in 1954 before finally getting into the fire department – he even took a pay-cut joining the SFFD – which means the bread drivers were well-paid or the firemen weren’t. There was a lot of pride working for those family-owned companies back in the day – before corporations bought them all up and dismantled and sold off the parts.

But I digress…

I soaked a bag of cannellini beans overnight and cooked them today in a partial carton of turkey broth and a partial carton of beef broth – I inherited Mom’s gene for not wasting anything. When they were almost done, I added 12oz of andouille sausage and 3 chopped carrots and simmered it all away. It didn’t need a lot of other herbs or spices – the andouille took over and made it nice and mildly spicy.

Beans call for bread but the Larraburu of my youth no longer exists – so I decided on cornbread – about as polar opposite of a San Francisco Sourdough as you can get. But what the hell, right?!?

I wanted a no-frills, plain ol’ down-to-earth cornbread – nothing fancy or sweet. I grabbed my trusty Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book and went to work. It’s one of the easiest recipes on the planet.



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 425°. Grease 8×8 baking pan.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and corn meal in a mixing bowl. Add eggs, oil, and milk, and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.

Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until nicely browned.

Really simple. Really basic. Really good.

The perfect meal for a a cold winter’s day.