Something completely different

Completely different for me, at least. As far as cooking beans goes. I had read about not soaking your beans before cooking, which goes against everything I, as a southern cook, ever knew. But I’m all for learning new techniques, so count me in.

In that article, Russ Parsons also mentions starting them in hot water, along with cooking in the oven. I’m planning to do both and, more or less following this recipe, I think I’ll sort the beans, put them in my handy ovenproof Le Creuset, heat up water in the electric kettle and let ‘er rip!

My only problem is that everybody talks about cooking a pound of beans, and I’ll be cooking two pounds.

Two pounds, aka a big old bag, of pinto beans.

Two pounds, i.e., a big old bag, of pinto beans.

I like to use homemade beans instead of canned as much as possible. Besides the fact that, like anything else, when it’s homemade, I know exactly what’s gone into it, there’s also the fact that I can cook them to our taste, so they just taste better. (Chili cooked with homemade beans > chili cooked with canned beans.) (Yes, I add beans to my chili.) They’re also cheaper, I think. I haven’t actually calculated out the cost of homemade beans, though I figure that most of the cost (sausage & salt pork, water, electricity for cooking, etc.) will be less, er, per bean by cooking two pounds instead of just one.

Anyway, for all those reasons, when I cook pinto beans, I like to cook what’s known to my people as “a mess” of them, so I’ll have plenty to freeze. The online resources I’ve found don’t really say how to adapt for a larger amount of beans. I guess I’ll just cook longer and hope for the best.

I’ll let you know.

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