If you are a family of five and you decided to make my Bonanza Beans recipe (see previous New Year's post), then that pot of beans is history. But if you are a single person, like I am, after you have eaten beans for three nights in a row and there is still half a kettle left, you are wondering, WHAT am I going to do with all these BEANS? Here's your answer...
TENNESSEE CORN PONE
4 cups very juicy cooked and seasoned beans (especially pinto or kidney)
2 cups cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 quart buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup butter
Grease a 9x13 pan. Better yet, use a 10x14 (trust me, you do NOT want this to overflow on you as you put it into the oven--been there, done that, rued the day as my oven caught on fire and my house filled with smoke!).
Heat the beans until they are quite hot, and pour them into the pan.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Mix the cornmeal, baking, soda, and salt together in a small bowl.
Melt the butter and combine it with the buttermilk and beaten eggs in a large bowl and stir.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones until smooth. Pour them over the hot beans. Bake on the top rack of your oven until the bread is a rich golden color and the sides of the corn bread pull away from the sides of the pan. This takes about 30 minutes.
Now, this dish serves 8-10 people, so you could either:
1. Plan to use your leftovers for a potluck dish with a large group later in the week;
2. Freeze half and take the other half for lunch for a couple of days;
3. Give some to your neighbors.
So, the idea of using up the leftovers in a thrifty manner isn't exactly realized by this--but you do have something different to eat, made from those beans!
Note for future reference: Next time I make this, I will use the same amount of beans (4 cups), but only use half of the rest of the recipe. I was hoping for more of a bean-based dish with a bread topping (a southern, vegetarian version of shepherd's pie?), but instead got a pan of moist cornbread with beans dispersed through it here and there.
By the way, let me properly attribute this recipe: Laurel's Kitchen, A Handbook for Vegetarian Cookery and Nutrition, by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Bronwen Godfrey, page 262. My cooking bible for many years.