Red Beans and Rice 6

1 pound dry red kidney beans
2 quarts cold water
1 thick slice ham cubed
1/2 pound sausage, sliced thick
1 bunch scallions with tops
1 green pepper
2 stalks celery
3 medium sized onions
Pinch of thyme
4 bay leaves
Cayenne pepper or Tabasco
Salt, pepper
White rice (not instant)

Rinse beans twice. Discard bad ones. Put in pot. Add water, ham and sausage. Set uncovered on medium heat. While beans are soaking and warming, chop and add scallions (tops too), green pepper, celery and onions. Then add thyme and bay leaves. When mixture boils, reduce heat and cover. Stir every 20 or 30 minutes for three hours. With a wooden spoon, mash about 1/4 of beans against side of pot. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook another 1/2 hour. Serve over hot rice.

Serves 6.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana