Somebody Else’s Husband Cooks

A week or so back, I posted my husband’s recipe for butter bean soup. Here is the recipe he got from his younger brother, who cooked it for him. Charlie made his differently, but here is Morris’ real one, as he wrote it out for me:


  • 2 cans butter beans–smash 30 times *


  • 1 can of water
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1/2 carrot–sliced round
  • 1/2 stalk celery–chunk sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Bring to a boil & let boil 3 or 4 minutes.

Simmer for 10 minutes

  • Green tomato relish **
  • optional — 1/3 small can of mushrooms
  • green onions on top

Serves 4

* The beans, not the cans

** Best is my late mother-in-law’s Sour Relish (green tomato), which she wrote out for me. Here it is:


1/2 gal green tomatoes

1/2 gal cabbage

1 hot pepper

Ground on course blade, mix well.

1/2 c salt

Work the salt in. Let stand overnight or put in jars right away. Pack down tight. Leave lids loose.

Apparently, you were supposed to seal it after it had soured, but she didn’t write that part down.

Charlie’s sister Marilyn says to only let the vegetables sit overnight without putting them in jars. Then she says:


Rinse and drain.


  • 6 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of celery seed
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard seed
  • 4 cups of cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of water

Pour over vegetable mixture. Heat to a boil, and simmer for 3 minutes. Put in hot sterilized jars & seal. Makes 8 pints.

So there you have it: A family recipe. Enjoy!

WRITING PROMPT: Write a scene in which a close family gets together and tries to recreate a dish they each remember a little differently, whether their differences come from memory of taste or personal preference coloration or watching it made or listening to the cook talk about making it or recipes they have on file.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Somebody Else’s Husband Cooks

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      December 8, 2010 at 10:33am

      I wish I could wiggle my nose and have the kitchen completely clean and straight BEFORE I start to cook, but I don’t mind cleaning as I go and after. But it’s better to have to clean up somebody else’s mess than not have somebody else, so I’m not complaining of my lot! I kind of like to make cleanness out of messiness, though you wouldn’t think so if you could see my office. 😉

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  1. Bodie P

    December 9, 2010 at 1:08am

    Holy moly, I thought I was doing well to get ONE recipe up a day! Tasty, tasty blogging happening here.

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  2. Bodie P

    December 9, 2010 at 1:11am

    Hah! Your writing prompt about the familiar dish everyone does differently strikes a nerve; in my book there are four potato salad recipes contributed by three women–and there would be more if I hadn’t limited myself to two. Maybe food is like snowflakes; each person does it a little differently, and we can measure the food’s significance to a family by counting the variants.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      December 9, 2010 at 9:02am

      Oh, what a wonderful thought: “we can measure the food’s significance to a family by counting the variants.” I love that! When the Southern Indiana Writers Group did our NOVEL INGREDIENTS anthology–every story had a recipe with it–one member did her story about a family hunting down the original Pineapple Salad recipe, and she included the one they got AND her personal variant. When I made it at home, I tweaked it just a little. lol!

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