In all my years of cooking one of the things I never got around to making was homemade ham and bean soup. I can’t explain why I wasn’t interested, it just never got made. That changed quickly. I am very blessed to know bloggers that are excellent cooks. Mary, a southern blogger whose blog is called Deep South Dish, posted this recipe on her blog and her Face Book recipe sharing page called…Best Southern Recipes From The Deep South. What’s a Facebook recipe sharing page? It’s a place where bloggers go to share their recipes, people like Mary so graciously spend their time and energy helping bloggers get their blog posts to the public. It just so happened that at the time I saw Mary’s Old School Ham Bone Bean recipe, I had a spiral ham in the fridge. It was evening when I decided to make her recipe. I decided my best choice would be to cook the ham bone in the crockpot overnight. I put the ham bone with lots of meat on it and the stock ingredients along with the water amount in the crockpot and let it do it’s work. In the morning I awoke to the wonderful aroma of stock simmering. The broth was a gorgeous color, I knew it was going to be rich in flavor. The meat had simmered completely off the bone, I strained the broth , I put the broth back into the crockpot and saved the strained stock ingredients and meat to add back into the soup later. My husband believe it or not, has more experience cooking dried beans than I do. He suggested I add the bag of Great Northern Dried Beans to the broth and let it cook in the crockpot until they get soft, this took about 3 or 4 hours. That way the beans have the stock flavor. After the beans had become soft I took one of my mother’s suggestions and mashed the beans with a potato masher to help thicken the stock. It worked beautifully. I then added the strained stock ingredients, plus the ham meat back into the crockpot to the mix. How did my husband feel about my first attempt at Old School Ham Bone Bean Soup…He loved it! He said it was perfect! He didn’t even want me to freeze any of it, he said he’d eat it during the week for lunch! Thank you Mary for the perfect Old School Ham Bone Beans recipe!!!