1 jar of bean mixture* red pepper (optional) 1 medium onion, chopped 1 to 2 cups chopped ham or 1/2 smoked sausage ring 1 can tomatoes (up to 15 oz) 1 tsp. chili powder 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of water juice of one lemon Salt and pepper to taste 1 clove of minced garlic Water for soaking beans
Wash beans, remove debris. Place beans in a pot and cover with water - soak overnight. In the morning, DRAIN, add 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil. Simmer slowly, partially covered 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until beans are tender.
Add onion, tomatoes, red pepper, chili powder, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Simmer 30 minutes. Service with crackers, cornbread, or other bread and a salad. Freezes well.
* BEAN MIXTURE: A mixture of beans/peas - kidney, pinto, black, navy, lima (small and large), red. Peas: blackeye, green split, yellow split. Lentils. Or a combination of your favorite beans.