Food Storage: My Adventure With Beans!

Alrightythen. So this week I actually did it! I tried my hand at cooking some dry beans. Holy PROGRESS! 🙂 Before I could talk myself out of it, I just went into my kitchen, grabbed a quart sized Mason jar, grabbed some pinto beans, stuck a cup of beans in the jar, and then filled it up with water. I had absolutely NO idea what I was going to do with the beans, and NO idea of how to cook them, but I wanted to commit myself before I forgot about it. 🙂 I left my beans overnight and in the morning they had swelled quite a bit. I drained the water and refilled the jar to give the beans a quick rinse, drained again, and then refilled with fresh water again. Then I put the beans into my crockpot and turned it on low. Again, I was still clueless as to what I was doing, but my SIL says she cooks her beans in the crockpot, so while I was in this crazy “what-the-heck-let’s-just-give-anything-a-try” mood, I decided I’d just throw them in there and see what happened. 🙂

Well, they started cooking and I started thinking, “Hm… I should probably throw some sort of seasonings in there.” So at this point I finally jumped on my computer to look up some suggestions. (This is SO unlike me! I’m usually at my computer for hours researching stuff before I ever take a first step! I’m getting so brave! :D) Anyway, I found a recipe for refried beans that had some rave reviews, so I figured I’d work with that. I threw in some onions, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and let it finish cooking for the rest of the day. At the end of the day, I drained off the beans (and apparently you save the water you drain off) and just started mashing away. I added a little bit of the reserved water when they were looking a little dry, mashed some more, and presto-change-o! Refried Beans! Hubby was utterly impressed when he tasted them. He looked at me and clarified, “You made these from scratch? They taste just like refried beans!” (Ah… I love his faith in me. :))

The moral of this story is, if you have been afraid to cook with dry beans, go fill a jar and start them soaking RIGHT NOW! You can do it! (Trust me, if I can do it, ANYONE can do it!) 🙂 Tomorrow I’ll share the recipe for the refried beans, and this week I’ll try some other types of beans or techniques. We’ll see how crazy I can get. 😀
Enjoy your beans!

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