Monday, November 9, 2009

Magical Fruits

As I posted, I started Pintos yesterday.  Soaked for about 8 hours and then I dumped them in the crockpot for 10 hours.  Easy peasy, right??!

Let's back up.  According to Wikipedia, Rice and pinto beans served with cornbread or corn tortillas are often a staple meal where there is limited money for meat; the amino acids in this combination make it a complete protein source. This variety is often used in chili con carne, although the kidney bean, black bean, and many others may also be used in other locales.
In the southeastern part of the United States, pinto beans were once a staple of the poor (usually eaten with cornbread, milk, and cabbage), especially during the winter months. Some churches in rural areas still sponsor "pinto bean suppers" for social gatherings and fund raisers.

So, the humble bean has the stigma of "poor people" food.  Ugh.  My mom rarely fixed beans (and yeah, we were poor) because I don't think she knew how.  When we got beans at school, I was the only kid who scraped the tray with my spoon, trying to get every last dribble of "bean juice"!  I loved when I stayed with a friend and they had beans and cornbread.  I probably kept them up all night tooting, but I don't care.  I've always loved beans.

One of the first things I bought myself as an adult was a crock pot.  Oh boy!  Now I can make my own beans.  But they were never, ever good.  Bland and had a funny "dirt" taste.  So I sold the crock pot at a yard sale. But I never stopped asking questions.  I need a bone or some ham in it.  So I bought myself another crock pot and tried cooking beans with ham.  And it was good.

But now I don't eat animals, so how can I make my beans good again??  For now, I clean them, soak them, cook them. They are plain and bland, but aren't they pretty?!

Then I saute some garlic and jalapenos in some olive oil  and then start adding the beans. And then I smoosh them with my handy wooden spoon.  I keep adding beans and smooshing and until I end up with a tasty-looking mass.  Then I dump cheese sauce on the whole mess and add salsa and viola!  This stuff is good with a tortilla or on chips or on just about anything. We chose nachos, and they were pretty good.  They were a bit bland for my tastes, but the boys ate them up.


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