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Leon's Blog

Survival Recipe: Ann Gawith’s Lima Beans and Ham with storage foods

Survival Recipe: Ann Gawith’s Lima Beans and Ham with storage foods

By definition, a survival recipe uses simple, staple  ingredients, is easy to cook, and can be prepared in a one-pot setting using a campfire or woodstove. A collection of easy, tasty recipes should be in every survival kit.

Dried Lima beans store well and prove a tasty meal.

This recipe comes from Ann Gawith, of La Pine, OR. Ann and her husband, Gerald, retro-fitted a wood stove in their home to provide a reliable heat source during Central Oregon’s cold, snowy winters.

The Gawiths regularly use their  wood stove for cooking, but this recipe could easily be adapted to cooking over a campfire with a Dutch oven suspended from a tripod.  Ann suggests this recipe as a good use of those stalwarts of long term food storage, dried lima beans. (This recipe was posted a few years back, and it is a winner. It’s a go-to recipe for camping, becuase the beans can simmer on the campfire while you read a book, carve a spoon, or just hang out.)

Lima Beans and Ham

1 small bag (2 cups) lima beans (or baby limas)

1 ham bone and some chunks of leftover ham (or two ham hocks)

1 onion chopped

About 6 –8 cups boiling water

chicken bullion

2 Tbs Italian Seasoning

salt & pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight in water until they are fully re-hydrated.  Put the beans, ham bone and ham, and chopped onion into the pot; pour in enough water to cover the ham bone.  Stir in chicken bullion (enough for about 6 cups of water); stir in  Italian seasoning.  (If you know your seasoning is one of the stronger varieties, use your judgment…you can always adjust seasonings further down the line).

Bring to a boil on your kitchen stovetop…or if you have started enough in advance, just place on the woodstove to cook. Keep in mind it will take a good half-hour to come up to a boil because the water and ham are usually cold.

Another alternative is to add boiling water to the pot, but that means another pot or kettle to dirty. Just do what works best for you!   Cook 2 to 3 hours after the pot temperature  is up to simmering.

“I check mine a couple of times after the first 2 hours because I don’t like it the beans too watery,” Ann says. “If the dish is gaining too much water, crack the lid somewhat to let the steam escape for the rest of the cooking or until it becomes the consistency you  like.  Adjust the seasonings then, by adding more Italian or more salt and pepper.

Gerald and Ann Gawith

Gerald and Ann Gawith are  experienced cast iron and  Dutch oven cooks, competitors and judges. In addition to being local and regional Dutch oven competition winners, the Gawiths also promote the annual July 4 La Pine, OR, “Frontier Days” Dutch oven cookoff.



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Leon's Blog

Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist. As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched. After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico. His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail. Other mountain backpacking trips include hikes through the Uintas in Utah; the Beartooths in Montana; the Sawtooths in Idaho; the Pryors, the Wind River Range, Tetons and Bighorns in Wyoming; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Catskills in New York and Death Valley National Monument in southern California. Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Leon is also an avid fisherman and an elk, deer, upland game and waterfowl hunter. Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District. Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

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