Monday, September 29, 2008

Beans, Beans...

Last night I told my husband that I think we eat out too much. I tried to justify it. After all, too much is just a couple of times a week, and it's usually just for convenience sake. Well, he wholeheartedly agreed. In fact, he hit me with some figures, like, how much we're spending in a month on eating out. "Have you been thinking about this?" I said, "Why didn't you say something?" My husband, God bless him, is very laid back and sometimes I think is afraid he'll hurt my feelings. I've been feeling bad about all this eating out, so with my husband's encouragement, I'm going to try to plan better. For the days that I think I need something easy, (which for me is Mondays), I'm going to keep it simple. Today it's going to be beans and cornbread. Thankfully, my husband is not a picky eater, and I think the only thing he hasn't liked in almost 9 years of marriage was the authentic falafel I made. I happened to love it, but I haven't made it since.

I thought I'd share a few tips on how to make easy, delicious pintos. If you happen to be a fellow West Virginian, you probably have your own methods. If not, try it. Pinto beans are cheap, easy, and nutritious.

I've been using my crock pot to make beans. I do a quick-soak method (boil for two minutes, cover and set aside for one hour). My mom soaks beans in large quantities then freezes them for future use. Next, I drain and rinse the soaked beans then boil them for ten minutes (which must be done if you plan to use a crock pot). Next, pop them in the pot, water and all. I add a few fresh herb sprigs and a small amount of salt. If you add a lot of salt at the beginning of cooking, it slows cooking time, but adding part of the salt improves the flavor. Cook them on high or low depending on how much time you have; they actually cook pretty quickly this way. Adding the fresh herbs makes great tasting re-fried beans for later.

I hope you enjoy this West Virginia Classic!


gina said...

looks so good to me. we used to eat beans over leftover cornbread stuffing as well. and for some reason, my dad called that relish "chow chow"

nGogo said...

We also are trying to use our food money more wisely and eat more healthy food. I have never made beans in the crockpot and appreciate your clear directions. I am definitely going to do that, maybe put them in tonight for tomorrow. I think I'll use your mom's idea as well, and put some in the freezer ready to cook later. I love your blog and your sharing your life with us. We draw strength from each other when we open our lives. Miss you all and seeing the children growing.

samuel said...

This post explains a lot about your husband.

Thanks for this insight into my old friend.

Jessi said...

We love this meal, too! Thanks for all the tips. And thanks for this's definitely worth it!