Both of my grandmothers made succotash. Though each had a slight variation on the theme, they started by putting canned tomatoes, salt, pepper, a little bacon grease and fully boned skin on pieces of chicken into a huge black pot. Fresh or frozen lima beans were added when the meat was just about falling off the bone, followed by corn sheared from the cob or poured from a bag taken from the freezer. It took a few hours before the succulent stew was finally ladled into deep bowls ready to devour. I have since altered this recipe and because I no longer use bacon or chicken fat (that came from the skin), it took a few times to get the seasoning just right so that it was close enough to the original to satisfy to my taste buds. Succotash is serious comfort food to me, I wanted to be comforted. The idea mushroomed.
1 cup frozen lima beans (these need to simmer covered for approx. 20 minutes until soft)
Light tasting olive oil (I use Bertolli)
¼ - ½ cup sweet onion (sliced crosswise, then in half)
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (optional) cubed
two large plum tomatoes (slice crosswise, then in half)
1 cup frozen corn
½ tsp. basil
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
Lima beans should already be cooking! Cover the bottom of a medium skillet with olive oil, heat on medium high until hot. Add onion, cook about 1 – 2 minutes, stir, reduce heat and caramelize. Once onions are soft and translucent, turn heat up to medium high, add chicken, salt, pepper and a couple of shakes of garlic powder. Brown chicken until cooked through. (Check lima beans. If soft, turn off the heat, add the corn so it can unthaw, stir and cover.) Add tomatoes and basil to chicken, sauté for a couple of minutes. Drain vegetables and add to skillet, stir until all ingredients are mixed, reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and let rest. Taste it, it may need more salt and pepper. Though it is a much drier version than the traditional recipe, spooned rather than ladled, it is still a comforting dish that only took about 30 minutes from start to finish if that. Yields about 3 cups with a small amount of gravy.
One of my friends makes apple pies with the best crust, my mom made a cobbler that I never mastered but I do make a delicious crisp. This was definitely not the day for apples froufrou so I opted for a bared down version that I often bake especially during the winter.
Oven 325 °
2 large golden delicious apples