A friend gave me a soup mix for Christmas. The mix included some beans and some instructions. I supplied the ham hocks, minced garlic, canned tomatoes, diced and sauteed onions, lemon juice, spices, and hours of labor. :)
I'd never worked with ham hocks before. I think it went pretty well. You boil 'em in the soup for a few hours, then take them out, cut off the choice bits of meat to add back to the soup, and throw away the fat and bone. I have learned, however, that when you yank back a layer of fat to get to the meat, it might slip out of your fingers and rebound pretty quickly, in the process flinging a particle of meat in your eye where it lodges stubbornly for a few minutes before (thankfully) falling out somehow.
The soup's very tasty!