I was able to get some pinto beans cooked up today. When I unpacked my boxes, I found many, many beans of all sorts. I buy them in bulk, usually in 25 pound bags. We enjoy eating beans, and I was eager to get some of them into meals. I soaked about 1/2 gallon of pinto beans over night in plenty of water. I used my slow cookers so that they could just cook away while I visited with my good friend who was visiting today.
I’ve got the food storage unpacked and organized now, and am eager to start using it. I’ve missed having all these ingredients at my fingertips. My freezers are still not here, as the plugs-ins are not finished, yet, in the shop. There are many more containers of dry beans that are not showing up in this photo. I have a couple of shelves dedicated to home-canned items and the rest will be stored in the shop and brought in as needed. Rob has 1 of the 2 shelves needed already built out there and we spent a morning unloading boxes to fill it up, making those jars accessible to me!
I made one slow cooker full of chili. It turned out great. I used a jar of tomatoes I unearthed, a pint of beef broth, along with celery, bell peppers from the garden, onion, beans, salt, pepper and chili powder. It turned out great and we scarfed a lot of it down at dinner.
The second one was filled with peppers and beans for refried beans.
These beans, peppers and onions are waiting to soften a bit more, and then I will blend them with my immersion blender. I put in several peppers from the garden. I always use whatever I have on hand, fresh or frozen, along with some onions–red, yellow or white. This is a mixture of Jalepenos, Holy Mole and Italian frying peppers. They are pretty mild this year, but once I blend them, the beans have a wonderful flavor. Obviously, some batches are quite a bit spicier than others, but I anticipate that this batch will be quite mild. My children love homemade refried beans. They will eat them several times a week if I let them. I try to keep some frozen at all times. The way I make them is a lot runnier than the ones in a can, and they have so much more flavor, in our opinion. I don’t have much freezer space in the small one over the fridge, so I didn’t make a huge batch. This will keep everyone happy for a few weeks, though.
The third thing I did was boil up the rest of the soaked beans in water, with salt, on the stove in a pan until they were soft. We ate some of those in tortillas for lunch, with cheese and taco sauce. There were 2 bags to freeze for later. I will use them in recipes that call for beans instead of opening a can.
It was a rewarding, and yummy Saturday. By using the slow cookers, I had a great visit with my friend, and got economical, yummy meals at the same time.