Friday, December 31, 2010

How To Soak Beans

Tomorrow's Black Eye Peas
I'm sure there are some of you who looked at my bags of beans and thought:  "How in the heck do you turn dried beans into beans that you can eat?"  Well, you could just dump the beans into your recipe, but you would need a lot of extra liquid and the results probably wouldn't be nearly as good.  Some beans would cook faster than others, and some might split open and make a bean starchy mess of your liquid.

I have to admit, it still scares me even though it is so incredibly easy.  E-A-S-Y.  If you can make soaking beans hard, I want to know how you do it.  What it isn't, however, is fast.  Soaking beans takes time, even if you use the speedy methods.  Different beans require a different amount of time, but basically there are three methods for soaking beans:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

...and Rice

And now I have rice!  We were actually running low on rice so this was a nice time to buy fresh.  I had visions of buying the 20 pound bags but I honestly don't know how to store that much rice safely.

I do already have Arborio rice that I've never opened, and there are so many more types of rice to try.   I was  overwhelmed in the rice aisle.  All the rices pretty much look the same.  At least the beans look different so you know if you are buying different things!

Did you know there are more than 7,000 different types of rice?  Neither did I, until I did a little research. I found this simple page that has a nice explanation of the parts of rice and an interesting recipe for Baked Rice Pudding.  Yum!

I absolutely welcome suggestions on different rices to try and new recipe ideas.  A year is a long time!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bags and Bags of Beans

Today, I bought a bag of every type of bean at the grocery store. I have this illusion that I'm going to be organized and use dried beans, as they are really cheap and some people think they have better flavor than canned beans. I think the reality is that I will use just as many canned beans, but a girl has to start somewhere.

The more I think about it, the more I am either excited or terrified at this little project I've allegedly started. I really, really do not want to be one of those bloggers who goes all gung-ho at the beginning and then disappears. (Especially if they have an excellent name at blogspot and it is being wasted!) On the other hand, I am wondering how long it is before my kids gang up on me and refuse to eat anything that has either beans or rice. I intend to get creative, and track down recipes for fun things like black bean brownies and rice pudding, but I still think they will start to push back sooner rather than later.

Heck, I'll be lucky if I make it to February.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2011 - The Year of Beans and Rice

Inspired by my love of a Year of Slow Cooking, and my desire to add more beans and rice to my family's diet, I've decided to put myself out here on the internet and see if I am up to the challenge of preparing some variation of beans and rice every day in 2011. I have no idea how this is going to work out for me (us!) ... what happens when we go on vacation, or I get sick, or something else unexpected happens?

With four ridiculously picky daughters, it will be a challenge to maintain my enthusiasm for this experiment. I hope you'll join me as we see what happens.