With Valentine's Day looming, there is still plenty of time to plan Mardi Gras dinners and this is one of our favorite dishes! I found it several years ago in Gourmet Magazine, where credit was given to Rebecca Fulcher of Newnan, Georgia. The only changes I make is to cut the bay leaves down to 1 instead of the 4 called for. I do this because it seems to us that 4 bay leaves overpowers the other flavors. Soaking the beans overnight is essential and not included in prep time.