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Old 01-04-2006, 06:10 PM   #1
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Beans, Beans, the musical fruit

I made the best pot of beans New Years Day. I usually mix 1-2 lbs Great Northerns with 1 lb 15 bean soup mix and put them on to soak overnight. But due to the Asti Spumante, I didn't get that done, and the next morning I discovered I had no dried Great Northerns or white beans of any kind.
I did have a couple bags of the Cajun Style 15 bean soup mix, though, so I put them in the big soup kettle to cook with the big meaty hambone I had left from Christmas and a chopped onion. After it cooked a while, I checked it, and added 2 cans of whole tomatoes (which I squished with my hands) and their juices and the little seasoning packets (which I usually throw away). After cooking some more, I decided it needed more starch, and added a can of butterbeans and another of great northerns with their liquid. That gave the broth the right consistancy, and after I adjusted the seasoning it was very good. The next day it was even better.
But beans being beans (and I didn't have any Beano), two nights in a row was enough.

Thing being, I made enough for an army, and there's only two of us. When it comes to things like soup, beans or pasta, I just can't seem to make a small amount. But I freeze it up in ziplock bags, and it's always so nice, when I'm not in the mood to cook, to be able to open up the freezer and pick a package. Sure beats TV dinners or McYucks.

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Old 01-04-2006, 06:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
I made the best pot of beans New Years Day. I usually mix 1-2 lbs Great Northerns with 1 lb 15 bean soup mix and put them on to soak overnight. But due to the Asti Spumante, I didn't get that done, and the next morning I discovered I had no dried Great Northerns or white beans of any kind.
I did have a couple bags of the Cajun Style 15 bean soup mix, though, so I put them in the big soup kettle to cook with the big meaty hambone I had left from Christmas and a chopped onion. After it cooked a while, I checked it, and added 2 cans of whole tomatoes (which I squished with my hands) and their juices and the little seasoning packets (which I usually throw away). After cooking some more, I decided it needed more starch, and added a can of butterbeans and another of great northerns with their liquid. That gave the broth the right consistancy, and after I adjusted the seasoning it was very good. The next day it was even better.
But beans being beans (and I didn't have any Beano), two nights in a row was enough.

Thing being, I made enough for an army, and there's only two of us. When it comes to things like soup, beans or pasta, I just can't seem to make a small amount. But I freeze it up in ziplock bags, and it's always so nice, when I'm not in the mood to cook, to be able to open up the freezer and pick a package. Sure beats TV dinners or McYucks.
You did not mention the seasonings that you used in your "best pot of beans". Herbs and spices are the essence of beans from my experience. You can completely change the character of a pot of beans, ham bone or hock, onion and tomatoes based upon the seasonings used.

Beano is nice if you must be social or go to work or school or on a date, but the natural side effects of a pot of beans are just part of the bean charm. Many people strive to get back to nature and live more organic lives, enjoy your beans and the bean experience.
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Old 01-04-2006, 06:36 PM   #3
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Aurora,
I think she used the packet of seasonings that came with the Cajun beans.
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Old 01-04-2006, 07:23 PM   #4
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Friends, I think the seasoning packets were basically just Cajun seasoning with perhaps ham bouillon added. I didn't add any salt until all had cooked a while, because you never know how much is in the ham. After I added the seasoning packets, I decided it needed more garlic and onion, and since the beans were basically done, I used granulated garlic and onion powder.
Aurora, we are going to enjoy our "bean experience" again tonight.

I forgot to mention the cornbread. I've gotta have cornbread with my beans. My husband butters his and eats it alongside, but I crumble mine up in my beans and let it soak up the juice. Yum!
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Old 01-04-2006, 07:34 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, I cannot use most package seasonings and soup mixes because of the excessive salt content. I've been on a low/no salt diet so long that these prepackaged mixes all taste excessively salty. Couple the mix with ham and other usually highly salted meats and the level is over the top.

I'm always up for a new bean recipe. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-04-2006, 07:44 PM   #6
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How to deal with the issue of eating musical beans!!

I teach Foods 1 and we just talked about legumes/beans today. Only buy what you'll use in 1 month. They still dry out as you keep them. Store in a dry, dark, cool place. Withered beans means they are old. Make sure you sort and rinse the beans. Put the beans in a large pot, put in the amount of water on the bag, bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Take off the heat, cover and let set for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans. This helps with the "gas" issue. Put more water on the beans, season and cook until tender. Hope this helps!!!!
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Old 01-04-2006, 08:07 PM   #7
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sounds good, and bean soup will freeze just fine.
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Old 01-04-2006, 08:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Barbarainnc
Only buy what you'll use in 1 month. They still dry out as you keep them.
I don't quite understand the reasoning behind this statement.

More than 80% of the dried beans grown in the U.S. are produced in North Dakota, Michigan, Nebraska, Minnesota, Idaho and Colorado. Beans are usually planted 4 - 6 wks after last average frost date or seed zone soil temperatures above 60°F. Harvest is possible between 75 to 115 days after planting. In the top 5 bean producing states listed above, this means that there will be a single bean planting and harvest in a single season. The harvested beans are processed and packaged and stored until sold. Dried beans are harvested when the moisture content is between 14 to 16% for short term storage. Beans are maintained at 11 to 14% moisture for long term storage.

Since beans are fresh (14 to 16% moisture) but once a year, it would seem that the beans stored properly in air tight containers or in controlled conditions without excessively high or low humidity would keep as well in your pantry as on a store shelf or in a warehouse. Commercially produced dried beans are stored and sold with moistures between 11 and 16%. Should dried bean moisture content fall below these levels the flavor is not impaired but the soaking/cooking times could be extended.

Personally, I buy pinto beans in 25 lb. resealable plastic bags for about $9.00 and use them within 6 to 8 months. The first beans used are every bit as good as the last.

What am I missing?
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Old 01-04-2006, 08:56 PM   #9
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To help prevent gas, my mom used to bring the beans to a boil with some baking soda added. Then she drained and rinsed them and continued to cook them with fresh water. It seemed to help.

Barbara
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Old 01-04-2006, 10:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara L
To help prevent gas, my mom used to bring the beans to a boil with some baking soda added. Then she drained and rinsed them and continued to cook them with fresh water. It seemed to help.

Barbara
My mom does the same thing! But I don't recall it helping with my beloved Dad. aaah sweet memories in the 'ol farm pickup, coyote huntin in February, 2 degrees, struggling to roll the window down with the makeshift handle (pair of biscrips) gasping for fresh air....... good 'ol dad....
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