Saturday, May 30, 2009

Holy Beans, Batman!

Have you ever used dry beans? Most of you probably have. I rarely do. It isn't that I wouldn't love to us them more often. They are much cheaper than the canned variety, but I have a hard time remembering to soak them overnight. I make menus and stick by them. Everyday, I put my kids to nap, and then look at what needs to be done for dinner. Dried beans don't work well for this model; it is horribly depressing to scramble for a new dinner item because the beans haven't been presoaked (we don't do crunchy beans at our house;) so I usually just used canned beans.

I am participating in a frozen meal exchange and making White Chili. Because I am making such a large quantity I decided to use dried beans. I poured 7 bags of beans in a large stock pot and filled with water. I then went to bed. I awoke to find beans overflowing and I don't mean by just a little bit. Thank God I had the stock pot sitting in a clean sink because the beans absorbed the water and grew....and grew..and grew. I had so many beans I didn't know what to do. My stock pot was full AND my sink was now full too! (I cannot resisit a good rhyme! :o)

I rinsed them well and divided them among a few large bowls.

It was then that I realized that this freezer cooking thing would be a many step process. There is not a pan in the world that could fit all those beans. I decided to do three batches. After starting on the first batch I realized I was out of cumin (had just enough for that batch) and because of a myriad of circumstances- namely and extra baby and then a long nap by my daughter, I couldn't run to the grocery store until about 5pm last night. I had to babysit for a family in our babysitting coop at 7, so I had to push back my cooking until today. This meant that my bowls full of beans had to wait until this morning.

We have a crazy full weekend, so I got up promptly before my children and set to work chopping onions and hot peppers. My spices and broth were a simmerin', but as I went to add my beans I got a had a horrible fright- the beans had become a virtual forest over night. There were sprouts galore, not just a few. I sat there a staring, NOW what would I do? (I SHOULD HAVE BEEN DR. SEUSS! I crack myself up!)

I mean seriously, can you eat sprouted beans? It's be one thing to give it a try if it was for our own family, but can you imagine someone giving you frozen chili with tenacles coming off each bean. I mean there weren't even cute was as if someone added steroids overnight! Marc suggested I just break them all off. Ah yes, that would look better, but um...there had to be a million beans. I don't even think I'll have time for a shower today and he expects me to snap tenacles off tiny beans one by one. That's a "negative", Captain.

I ended up running back to the store and because I am determined to use dried beans, I have multiple bowls on my counter filled with beans and water and I'll probably be up until midnight finishing chili. Why I don't just break down and buy canned beans, I can't explain. It's a pride thing at this point. I cannot be defeated by DRIED FLIPPIN' BEANS. I am a good cook- I will not be conquered by beans. (Unless Marc doesn't take the trash out soon- they way those babies are growing they might leave the can and take over our kitchen...THEY ARE ALIVE I TELL YOU, ALIVE!)


  1. Thanks for making me laugh today. I needed it!

  2. Hey Kim,

    How much chili are you making? We normally do about 1/2 of a cup of dried beans = 1-15 oz can of beans. 7 bags of beans would be a LOT of beans...

    You gave me a good idea for a science experiment for Ben this summer! :)

  3. This would be a GREAT trick for the kids. They'd love to "grow" beans! Summer vacation is nearly here. I have to recharge my creative summer fun catalog! Keep the crazy stories coming!