I dug around the net, since his instructions were kinda unclear, and settled on this recipe as being close to what he'd said and yet more complete. A quick trip to the local Hy-Vee produced the required ingredients, and it was home to do the cooking.
I just pulled the pot off the fire. Yummy good stuff. It's a LOT of food, though, and I suspect a good chunk of it will go to waste. I did have a bowl just now, though, and it turned out yummy. Cooking with ham really does make it taste better. I don't quite know why they bothered with the whole onion, though.