Saturday, September 24, 2011

Beans, beans, the stubborn fruit

With shockingly little insight into my own cooking habits, I brought not one, but three bags of dried beans from home in August and sat them in my closet.
And thought as I put them on my parcel of shelf space, Well, these are going to be taking up a lot of space at the back of this tiny shelf all year.

But in a moment of motivation and productivity (and foolishness) I decided to not only take my first crack at chili, but use the dried beans too. Canned beans? Ha! Canned beans are for amateurs!

And clearly, with my zero hours of chili-making experience, I'm way past that stage.

Monday 3:30. Start soaking the beans, two hours minimum. No huge cooking pots, but how important can that be anyway? I so got this.

5:30. Drain and continue with the recipe. Well, my recipe doesn't use dried beans, but I'm assuming that you can just boil them. Everything can be boiled. How long could it take, 10 minutes? And by then the rest of the chili will be done. Perfect. Perfectly perfect. I'm a genius of mixing tomato sauce and meat and beans, clearly.

6:00. Beans still hard and white. But surely they're on the brink of cooked.

6:20. We eat the chili sans beans. And sans the salad I would have made had I not been busy worrying about the beans.

Maybe they just need more soaking? I'll finish cooking them and make something else with them later.

Thursday Having now soaked the beans for three whole days in a pot on the stove, more out of laziness than for their benefit, and with my apartment mates inquiring politely what I was doing them, I turn the beans on simmer. For three hours.

And after all that undeserved time and attention, the beans have still not managed to make themselves edible.

They're in the trash. I hope the raccoons don't touch them. I don't want these beans to have the satisfaction of nourishing anything.

Someone please introduce me to the evil genius who invented the can and then imprisoned the beans in its dark cold cell.

I haven't tried to find out what failed. Probably something entirely stupid and entirely my fault. Frankly, I don't want to know. I just want to be mad at the beans.


  1. Hahaha this cracked me up! Good try!

  2. Pity! Dried beans are a staple of mine...

    If that happens again, try sticking them with some chicken stock in a blender and then baking them to make refried beans :-D

    Good Eats has an episode on beans, btw.

  3. Esperanza used to soak beans for like 6 days before cooking with them. When I made chili in Peru for us (remember?) I used dry beans. I used Esepranza's pressure cooker for 30 minutes or so. That did the trick. But I don' recommend this. Pressure cookers are deadly.