Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wind and rain and more wind

Saturday the wind near ripped the grass right off the lawn.  Sustained winds off 20-25 with gusts over 40 (closer to 50 really).  I felt bad for the nabes that had only just had the leaves cleaned away.  You'd never know it to look outside now.

Since I was tucked well inside, I amused myself by making a vat of ham and bean soup.  The twist was I was determined to use up about a pound and a half of dried pinto beans.  I've tried cooking pintos before, but I just could NOT get them soft.  So this time I figured I'd let them simmer and get soft if it took all the way to Thanksgiving!

Well, it didn't take that long, but it did take at least 5 hours before they softened up.  Then I stashed them in the 'fridge overnight and finished the soup today.  I added my own grown red potatoes, onions and peppers as well as a pound of store-bought carrots.  And while I simmered the whole shebang for another 2 hours, I'm still not completely happy with the firmness of the pintos.  Just how the heck long do these things have to cook??

Anyway, the soup is delish, taste-wise (although it's several shades darker than when I use the usual pound of 15-bean mix). Maybe the beans will soften up when I freeze them for later meals.

Meanwhile, to work up an appetite, I spent a little time in the veg bed today.  Click the pepper pic for an update.


  1. The soup looks delish! I love to make soup in the winter. Beans can be slow to soften. When I make red beans and rice, I always soak the beans over night and then let them simmer for about 4-6 hours.

  2. The secret for me and I just learned it a couple of years ago is never ever salt the beans until they are near finished and soft! Works like a charm. I start beans without soaking in the morning and have them ready for lunch.

    The soup looks really good.


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