Predictably, the meat had fallen right off the bones, so I spent about five minutes fishing meat and bone (and fat) chunks out of the soup before saving out the meat, dicing it up, and returning it to the soup.
"Dicing" is not really the right word. "Crumbling" is probably closer; this meat has been simmering for nine hours. This is a feature, not a bug.
Equally predictably--considering that it's winter--the liquid level in the crock pot fell by about an inch and a half as it simmered all day. This is why I topped the pot up to the very limit.
You know how beans are canned in that gloppy stuff? Mom always rinsed the beans, and then mashed and strained some of the beans; I didn't. I just dumped it all in. Same with the mushrooms: juice and all. (It's just water in the latter case, anyway.)
The result is a soup that is (or seems, at least) heartier than the way Mom made it. It's got a really nice flavor, and I didn't add any spices; it takes all its flavor from the ham, onion, green pepper, and garlic. It doesn't need anything else.
It's going to take me some time to get around this pot of soup, and in fact I'll probably end up freezing about half of it. But $1.19 per pound for the ham chunks is too good to pass up, and it'll freeze just fine.
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AoSHQ discusses the stupid Illinois law requiring a photo ID to buy drain cleaner.
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Ooh, 52° is predicted for Tuesday. Maybe I'll get to do a little riding.