Alright, chickadees, as my mom would say, I’m going to provide a shorter post. I love the word chickadee. My grandma loves birds and I imagine that’s where my mom got it. I remember being called chickies too and not the trend where girlfriends called each other chick, chica and whatnot…this was a “more endearing” term, as in young chickens traipsing behind their mom.
Grandma once worked in a large chicken coop and collected chicken memorabilia for as long as I can remember. As a kid, my motto was see something chicken (or purple irises), get it for grandma. Hummingbirds, among many other birds, gather around their porch by the kitchen and living room windows. I remember looking out the bay window when grandma or grandpa pointed out a particular bird making its appearance at the Shaffer home.
My parents also enjoy glancing at birds and I’ve noticed that Greg and I do the same thing. Not necessarily bird watchers but feathered friend appreciators. I hope to have a large birdhouse like both my grandparents and parents-it’s more like a hotel. A swanky bird hotel run by the local fowl riffraff.
I’m pretty sure my Grandma Shaffer called her girls chickadees. She has 4 daughters with no sons and my parents have 3 girls with no boys. Then came more girl cousins and finally, my cousin David. Lots of estrogen at family gatherings on my mom’s side. Well, my dad’s side too. Now that my sister is having a boy, I think my dad is relieved.
Today’s recipe is from my mom, who may or may not have inherited it from my grandma. It’s simply delicious and takes advantage of many of the vegetables in season right now. Plus, when is bacon not in season? It’s cost-effective, fast and can fill a crowd. One of my childhood favorites and now, I bestow the recipe upon you. Do you make something similar? Do share!
Bacon, Potato, Green Bean and Hamburger Dish
Serves 4 to 6
4 slices bacon
1 ½ lbs. hamburger
½ large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, sliced (seeds or no seeds depending on heat)-optional
red chili pepper-optional
1 ½ to 2 lbs. small potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 cups green beans, washed and trimmed
½ tbsp seasoning salt (up to 1 tbsp to taste)
Blanch green beans in a large pot of boiling water, with a bowl of ice water waiting, for 4 to 5 minutes. Then quickly add the beans to the ice bath to stop the cooking, drain and set aside. Boil the potatoes in a large pot of water until tender, 12 to 15 minutes for small potatoes. Drain and set aside.
In a Dutch oven or large pot, cook bacon over low/medium heat until slightly crisp. Remove bacon and place on a paper towel to absorb the grease. Keep 1 tbsp of the bacon grease in the pot and remove the rest. Add the hamburger, break it apart with a spoon over medium heat and brown. Add the seasoning, onion, garlic, and optional peppers, cook until onions are soft. Add the bacon, green beans and potatoes, cover and turn heat off until you serve soon after.