Preparation / Directions:
Soak beans overnight in ample water. The next day, drain the water from the beans, and place in a heavy kettle. Add the ham, onion, celery, parsley, bay leaves, and garlic, and add water to the pot barely to cover the contents. Bring to a boil, and then turn to a simmer.
Simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours, being careful that the beans do not stick or become too dry. You may have to add a little water.
After the initial two hours of cooking, add the margarine, pepper, Worcestershire, and Tabasco to the pot. Continue cooking for 1 more hour, this time with a lid on the pot and the heat quite low.
Correct the seasonings. You may which to add a bit of salt, but do not add salt until this point because salt cooks out of the ham (if present) and will season the beans.
Serve over white rice. Pass additional Tabasco sauce for the brave!