learning something new

We have run out of canned beans, which meant staring down the bags of dried beans and girding ourselves for the soaking and rinsing and cooking (I confess, I dislike the smell and it lingers in the house for hours) of the beans before they can be used in one of my bean soups or casseroles.

So in a burst of brain power, I decided to google “cooking beans in a crock pot without soaking” and found this website:

How to Cook Dried Beans in a Crockpot or Slow Cooker

She describes exactly how to do it (unless you’re using kidney beans–they need boiling).  So I picked over, rinsed and dumped half a bag of dried white beans in the crock pot.  I covered them with water (about 2″ above the beans) and cooked on high for about 3-4 hours until they were done.  The smell was minimal.  Easy as pie!

Have you been doing this for years?  (And you didn’t tell me?)

I then drained the beans (tossed out the cooking liquid) and put them back in the crock pot.  I browned about a pound of pork sausage (not Italian), sauteed a chopped onion and a teaspoon of garlic.  That went into the pot along with about 7 cups of chicken broth.  Next came four leftover baked potatoes, peeled and cubed.  Two pinches of thyme leaves.  A couple of whole bay leaves.

I cooked it all afternoon and about half an hour or so before calling Banjo Man upstairs for dinner, I added a can of evaporated milk, a cup of frozen (and partially defrosted in the microwave) chopped spinach and 3 TBS of instant potato flakes (I use these a lot because I like thick soups).

This “thrown together” soup was really, really good.  I think it would be easy to make it “vegan” just by eliminating the sausage and using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.  The potatoes really added a nice touch, though.

These chilly gray days cry out for soup, especially hearty ones.  We need comfort food–especially the kind that comes with healthy beans.  I probably make a bean soup every ten days in the winter.

And this still feels like winter, despite having turned to “April” on the calendar.

Today I am going to “ZOOM” with two of my favorite people, fellow retired writers Pat and Sharon.  Sharon has talked us into it and I have registered for the app.  I thought–fleetingly–about showering and washing my hair for this big event at 11 AM, but the three of us agreed we wouldn’t bother.

So…pressure’s off.

Stay safe.  Stay home.  This can’t last forever.

hand sanitizer sistine chapel



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1 Response to learning something new

  1. Marge Fridrich says:

    Funny. 😉
    Please send me Nancy’s phone number.

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