|McKenzie, Mark (dad), Tanner- the special boy of the night, and Michael.|
Last week my oldest was Baptized. In my church, we are baptized when we turn 8. We are so proud of Tanner for making this decision. It was an amazing night. I was blown away by the number of family and friends that came to witness this special event. My younger brothers were able to be "witnesses". My youngest brother is leaving on a mission in February, and so he had the authority to stand in the Priesthood circle to ordain Tanner a member of the church.
I made the mistake of saying the opening prayer. I could barely get the words out, I was so overcome with emotion. My BABY is now old enough for this! I cried that he was old enough, and I cried because this is an amazing act in his young life. Later, as I listened to those around me singing Hymns, I was overcome by the LOVE that filled the room. These people were here for MY family. To celebrate with us, and to support us. It is an overwhelming feeling.
Thank you to those who came. It was a night that we will never forget.
After the baptism, we held a dinner to thank those that came, and to celebrate. We had a variety of appetizers, ham, potatoes, salad, and cheesecake for dessert. Everyone enjoyed the dinner, and some recipes will be shared here in the next few days.
As I was cleaning up, I asked my Father-In-Law if he wanted the ham bones to make soup with. He didn't, and I just couldn't throw them away. I decided to try my hand at it! After cruising a few recipes, I tweaked them into my own. Everyone I shared it with (it makes a TON) loved it. I served it with Homemade Cornbread from Mels Kitchen Cafe. This is seriously the best cornbread ever!
I made the soup in the crockpot, but it can also be made in a large soup pan. You can also do this without a ham bone- just add more chopped ham.
The Best Bean and Ham Soup
Recipe by The Double Dipped Life
1 (20oz) package of dried beans, soaked overnight (I used Great Northern White, but you can use any kind you like!)
1 ham bone
2 1/2 cups cubed ham (or more if you don't have a ham bone)
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 (14.5oz) can of diced tomatoes, with liquid
10 cups low sodium chicken broth (I used 10 cups water and 10 teas. chicken granules)
2 TB Worchestershire Sauce
1 TB Chili Powder (I had to use Cayenne, and it turned out great!)
3 Bay Leaves
1 teas. ground black pepper
1 Tb dried parsley
3 Tb lemon juice
1 teas kosher salt
1. Take the beans you have soaked overnight, and drain. Place them in a large pot, and fill with enough water to cover by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, and then simmer on low for at least 20 minutes, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Chop the veggies, and add everything to the crockpot. Add in the beans. The liquid should cover the ingredients. (I have a large crockpot, and it was full! I had to siphon off about 1/2 cup of liquid, and add it back in later)
3. Set your crockpot on high for 6-8 hours. Stir every few hours- quickly. The more time the lid is off, the longer it takes to cook!
4. Remove the ham bone and the bay leaves.
5. Optional step: Take a hand or immersion blender, and blend 1/4 - 1/2 of the soup. It ended up giving it a grainy-looking texture, but the taste was a lot smoother.
Serve warm with Cornbread!