Senate bean soup suits election tastes

Linda Conway Eriksson - Contributing Columnist

“The times, they are a-changin’.” Sorry, folks I feel some clichés coming on.

Often when I experience things I can neither explain nor understand — let alone change, or do anything about it — clichés just pop into my head like cabbages in a garden. (I hope this doesn’t mean I have a head like a cabbage.)

The recent presidential election that gave us President-elect Donald Trump is a case in point. Looking back at the last few months of rhetoric and general chaos on both sides, what comes to mind is, “The only things that are certain are death and taxes.”

One of my daughters asked me how I feel about the election in general and its results in particular.

My response was to say that I will redouble my efforts to do what I frequently do anyhow — pray for our country and for those who lead it.

I will frequently remind myself that the only person I control is me, and I’ll try to do as good a job of that as I can and hope others are able to do the same.

I will try to remember that each and every one of us leaves a legacy. That legacy might be big or small, a good one or one that’s not so good. As long as I’ve done my best and not left behind anything that makes those who remember me hold their noses when they think of me, I guess I’ll have done alright.

A body of work to leave behind some day is as important to me as it probably is to someone who is more well-known, perhaps more powerful — for instance, a president. In my case, since I have written for some time, I would hope that my descendants will read my words and know who I was. And I do hope they’ll like the person whose image they conjure as they read along.

As long as our country’s leaders can say the same, and behave in such a way to make it so, hopefully we can’t go too wrong. God bless America.

It seems appropriate to end with a recipe that has appeared in several of the White House cookbooks. This soup is served daily in the Senate restaurant. It will definitely have you inhaling deeply and you won’t hold your nose.


2 pounds dried navy beans

4 quarts hot water

1 1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

Wash the navy beans and run hot water through them until they are slightly whitened. Place beans into pot with hot water.

Add ham hocks and simmer approximately three hours in a covered pot, stirring occasionally.

Remove ham hocks and set aside to cool. Dice meat and return to soup.

Lightly brown the onion in butter. Add to soup.

Before serving, bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper.

Serves eight.

Linda Conway Eriksson

Contributing Columnist

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at

Linda Conway Eriksson can be reached at