"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Vietnam Vet Recipes: Texas Pinto Beans

Tony's Home - Keller, TX

by Tony Flores

CJ, one good thing about living in this country is that we have people and food from all over the world. 

I can find just about any kind of food within a five-mile radius of my house in Keller, Texas, a suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth.

I went to Sydney on R&R from Vietnam and for 5 days I ate at a Texas Cafe there where half of the restaurant was Mexican food and the other side was Cowboy Texas style food. It was a blessing.

Arros con Pollo is one of my favorites. My grandmother from Puerto Rico could make it better than 5-star restaurants. Grandmother died while I was in Nam in 1969.

After Nam, family members all got together and remembered some of her food and put some recipes together. All of our friends would stay over until supper, if they found out we were going to have beans and tortillas, or Arroz con Pollo. I made them from memory, after I came back from Nam.

As to a favorite recipe that I like to cook, that would be my Grandmother's Texas Pinto beans.  I would like to share her recipe.

Grandmother's Texas Pinto Beans

What you will need:

2 1/2 cups dried pinto beans
1 to 2 chopped cloves of garlic
1/2 lb. lean bacon
1 bunch green onion, sliced
1 small can tomato paste
12 cups water
1 small can diced tomatoes, or Rotel
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, snipped
Chili powder to taste
2 to 3 t. Salt
3 limes cut in wedges


Wash beans thoroughly. Then combine with 8 cups of water in 3 or 4 quart pot. Bring water to boil, then reduce heat to medium.

Cook beans and garlic over medium-low heat, covered for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Skim top occasionally and add additional hot water if necessary.

After beans have cooked 2 1/2 hours, chop bacon into small pieces and fry until crisp. Pour off all but 1 Tbs. fat.

Add bacon with 1 Tbs. fat, tomato paste, tomatoes, green onions, cilantro and chili powder to beans. Continue cooking about 30 minutes more or until beans are tender.

Add salt to taste.

Beans should have plenty of broth so add water when necessary.

Serve with lime wedge.

That is the way my grandmother made her Texas Pinto beans. You can substitute ham hocks for the bacon.

Happy New Year to all my brothers and sisters that served in Vietnam. May the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Father, who combine as almighty God, bless you in the New Year 2015.

Tony Flores
USAF Retired

Have a Question?
E-mail Tony

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

Feel free to comment on this post. You are also invited to write about anything you want to share. Memoirs From Nam is YOUR blog. You are writing America's history.

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