Friday, November 11, 2011
I love pinto beans. (Not the canned kind, which always taste weirdly sweet and gooey and never hit the spot, but the home-made kind.) And for 46 years now have relied primarily on my mother to provide them for me. (Even today, every couple of months or so, she'll make a big batch and give me an old cottage-cheese container full of them to take home. Which I always finish off in about a day and a half.)
I once tried to make a bunch for myself, back in '96 I think it was, but they turned out crappy, mainly because I KNEW that they needed to be soaked overnight but I didn't FEEL LIKE soaking them overnight.
Last week, I saw a 1-lb bag of dry pinto beans in the supermarket for 75 cents and was suddenly inspired: What the hell; it's been 15 years; give 'em another shot...
This time, I SOAKED. For LONGER than 24 hours. And the next day I didn't try to boil them fast because I was hungry for them, but instead ate something first and THEN started the cooking... 2 hours of simmering for those things! It was like waiting for Thanksgiving dinner or something!
I didn't have any spices to add, except for salt and pepper. I don't think my mom ever adds any other spices, though she does always add raw BACON to simmer, which makes for great flavor but that I always have picked out when done to avoid the yucky fat-back-ness. (Plus I was just too lazy and cheap to buy a big thing of bacon just to add a couple of cut-up slices.)
At any rate, I soaked for 24 hours, I simmered for 2 hours, and at the end of it all, the beans that I made myself actually tasted GOOD, even without the bacon!
Only now: I have a lettuce-container full of ONE POUND OF BEANS to eat!