20 April 2012

Green Bean-a-Rooni

It was never a question as to what I would start with for this blog. This story comes from my own parents James & Cathy Wathan as told by my dad, these are his words.

 This Wathan traditional fare started while I was serving in the United States Marine Corps and stationed at The Portsmouth Naval Yard in Portsmouth NH from 1970 to 1971. My wife (Cathy) and I lived on the third floor of a downtown apartment paying roughly $90.00 per month for rent. Back at that time a married couple in the Marine Corps didn't make that much money, we received $220 a month, so things were tight. I had come home from the base, where I was a prison guard with the Marine Security Guard Force at the Naval Prison. I worked 24hrs on 24hrs off.

   I had gotten Home and we were trying to figure out something for supper, and as I remember, it was between pay periods and the cupboards were pretty bare. We found that we had a couple of pork chops, a can of tomato rice soup and a can of green beans. I usually did the cooking when I was home as I still do 40 years later.

   I fried up the pork chops in a skillet, and after they were done added the tomato rice soup, along with the can of green beans, covered and let them simmer for about a half hour. My wife and I came up with name on the spot as a joke. To this day we still fix them at least once a month. Our kids know what we're talking about but when we tell other people they kind of look at you with that deer in the head light look. That usually changes once they have tried it.

   Well that's our story and we're sticking to it and we hope you'll try it and enjoy it.

   4 Pork Chops
   1 can green beans
   1 can tomato rice soup

   Cook chops till done (Can be baked in oven)
   Add tomato rice soup use a little less water than a full can along with the green beans cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for at least a half hour
   Serve chop with soup and bean mixture ladled over top

 I made this today for the blog, I would prefer bone-in-chops but this is what I had, also we have tried this different ways over the years with tomato soup and cooked rice, fresh beans and frozen, but it never tastes as good as tomato-rice soup and canned green beans. I usually bake mine off in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 min after cooking the chops and combine everything together

Thanks to my parents

Genealogy Jim

19 April 2012


FOOD. It is at the core of every families history. It is constant, continually occurring & reoccurring in our lives, even during lean times. Arguably more so in the past, it has been the single driving force in determining where we live, occupation, social status, survivability & religious practice. Civilizations have started brutal wars over food & yet still have the compassion to share with charitable generosity.

My goal here is to find the family history or individual story behind the meal, whether something as simple as a single ingredient, say a home-grown tomato to a dish created on a whim.

Many of these stories will come from a time when frugality was necessary. The Great Depression was not only a time of hardship, but also a time of creativity. Not only will the stories be posted here, but also the recipes. These will mostly be collected from actual conversations & interviews. It is not my intention to use recycled articles from long ago, out-of-print books & periodicals though some may be used from time-to-time when accompanied with a story of significant quality or entertaining value.

Please check back often as this is a work in progress.

James Wathan
Genealogy Jim