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This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Posted by digit Z5 (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 1, 08 at 12:17

When I first moved to this country 40 years ago, I passed thru Dayton Washington and decided I'd entered the Valley of the Jolly Green Giant - there were acres of snap beans. When I got up here, there were more fields of beans with these strange, boxy contraptions out there harvesting.

The local bean fields are long gone. I still grow snap beans in the garden - usually without any difficulty and with a good harvest. I grew a few pinto and soldier beans more than 30 years ago and I'm thinking of having something like that again in 2008.

Visiting parts of Colorado during late Summer revealed the source of the nation's dry beans. And, David's recent comment about Durago brought that to mind again. Other than pinto (and the soldier beans were PROLIFIC), is there anything special I could grow?

I've been thinking about adzuki but have never used them in the kitchen. . . . I like black beans but they don't seem to like me . . .

digitS'


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Growing beans for dried beans takes up a lot of space, and for me, given that dried beans in one form or another are served at about 1/3 the meals we eat*, it just wouldn't be worth it. However the swollen, fresh 'shell beans' (I think thats the term) sure are good. Any bean is great that way, but particularly good are garbanzo's and lima beans. I always plant a short row of fava beans as well - get a few great meals out of that with the dill, lemon juice, and olive oil. (I just got my Johnny's seed order, and they're in there)

Adzuki beans are ok, but can be overwhelming in a lot of dishes. I like them better when they're added to vegetable soup or something like that. They'd be great fresh, I'd think. I once bought a 25 lb sack of the things, and finally, after looking at the sack for 4 years, threw out on the compost about 20 lbs.

*Chili. Pork and Beans. Bean soup. Bean Burritos. Bean salad. Baked Beans with bacon on top. Bean dip.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

A friend of mine who had lived on the East Coast before he had moved here has given high praise about a type of "shelling" or horticultural bean referred to as "October beans" that have variable patterns on the seed as well as colorful pods. I'm going to try a small area this year with these as well as trying some of the scarlet runner beans, supposedly attractive to hummingbirds. Around here in Pueblo, I always plan for a late season crop of green beans to mature in the Fall, if the August hail or September frost allow. Good luck with your choices.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I'm tempted to try those little lima beans but it would be a first. Never thought that we had enuf heat & humidity, however, there's an early variety. Shell beans should be something like the baby limas in the freezer section, I'd guess.

If I can get the beans planted before mid-July, Pondgardener, it's a good guarantee of excellent snap beans in September. They don't have many problems growing at that time of the year here, 'cept' the chance of an early frost . . .

Adzuki experience has been solely limited to Asian desserts. My daughter and I were discussing this over dessert the other day. It made me wonder if there were other uses or "just about any" use for this bean. I believe they are used for sprouts.

I wouldn't want them to turn out like the tiny little lentils and garbanzos I grew many years ago. An entire season going into plants that didn't produce enuf to half fill a shirt pocket.

digitS'


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Well I dont eat many dried beansmostly just eat them when I make homemade baked beans or ham bone soup, but I really like Anasazi beans when I do use them. Theyre sweeter than the Great Northern beans I use otherwise, and I didnt know this before, but I just discovered on this site that theyre easier to digest and produce less gas than many of the other dried beans. If you read over that legume page, theres all kinds of useful and fascinating information. I never knew beans could be that interesting! And something Im REALLY glad to know! A couple times I made baked beans and no matter how long I cooked them they never got really tenderand I never did figure out what went wrong. Now I discover that dried beans can get too old and thats what happens if they do. I always thought dried beans, like most other dried things, could be kept virtually forever! Guess not!

If youre interested in growing some, Digit, heres a link to Bountiful Gardens where you can buy seed, but I really dont see why you couldnt just buy a bag full of them at the super market and plant some of them! BG also carries other heirloom variety and untreated seeds for those of you that are into "green" gardening. No pun intended! In looking over their veggies, I found they have a "short" parsnip variety that may do better in my clay soil, and would definitely be easier to dig. May need to order some seed to try them, even tho I harvested enough of my own "regular" parsnip seed last year to plant a couple acres.

Now youve got me thinking beans, and Im gonna have to make a big batch of homemade baked beans. Definitely a high calorie food the way I make them! (But Ive lost 3 pounds in the last couple weeks because of the concussion, so I guess thats acceptable!) And I have a ham in the fridge too, so ham bone soup coming up before too long too. Yum!

Toot, toot,
Skybird


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Skybird, you've found some good information!

I suppose if you are in the bean business you might be anti-gas but wouldn't that kind of thinking interfere with our quest for energy independence? Are you sure they now which end is up . . .

"The beans on the bottom produce the least gas.

1. Soybeans
2. Pink beans
3. Black turtle beans
4. Pinto beans
5. Small white beans
6. Great northern
7. Baby lima beans
8. Garbanzo beans
9. Large lima beans
10. Black-eyed peas
11. Anasazi beans"


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Recipes and cooking advice from the Cooking forum..hopefully I'll get more play time to post more soon

Here is a link that might be useful: Beans, beans...the musical fruit...


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Now I discover that dried beans can get too old and thats what happens if they do. I always thought dried beans, like most other dried things, could be kept virtually forever! Guess not!

Skybird, I thought the same thing. One of my friends is an archeologist, and one year he brought home a couple of beans from a dig and planted them (they had found a large stash of ancient beans and corn) and grew Anasazi beans from those seeds. I think he said they were 700-800 years old?

Anyway Digits, I am voting for Anasazi beans because of the mystery of the Anasazi! And, the beans are so pretty, both in flower and in the pod.

Cheers,
Michelle


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I'm not sure if I know how dried beans canNOT last "forever" but still be viable after 7-800 years. However, I understand there are some "tricks" to breaking dormancy in seeds which are very old. The problem with cooking old seed may be that the moisture falls to such extremely low levels.

I have hoped for some excuses to order from "Seeds of Change" which one might think would be a logical source for Anasazi - well, not so. However, I've only made one seed order so far for 2008. There's likely to be Anasazi in some of the 8 (I believe it is) other outfits that already have lists assigned.

The lists - - This year, I saved a lot of time by listing the varieties I want and then the seed companies that offer them. Of course, I come across several things that are unique to one company or another.

Saving $$ is always a big deal but being a little more organized was a good way NOT to be trying to look in 10 or 11 catalogs at the same time. And, it is amazing how many catalogs (5 out of the 9) offer something like Red Ace beets. The difference in price is really startling - I can save over 300% by choosing the 1st or 2nd least expensive source over the ones with the highest cost! I'm only talking about those that sell larger packets, too.

When you order 5,000 beet seeds, it amounts to about $10 in savings!! But, anyway, this is off-topic since it was beans and not beets we were talking about . . . I'll check the "B's" in the remaining 8 to see if they offer Anazazi . . . 2 more orders need to go out immediately!!

digitS'
No matter how tragic your life, if someone sends you a seed catalog, you cannot sing the blues!


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Steve, I've linked to a site that sells anasazi beans, as well as the famous pinto beans. They have them in all quantities - you can just plant them out of the bag.

Re bulk seed for not much, check out Bakers Creek, rareseeds.com, They have great prices on greens, some beets, peppers, and so on.

Here is a link that might be useful: The bestest-ever beans in the Whole World


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Digit
You might try Adobe Milling, Dove Creek Colorado - they have a web site and they are the ones who process the beans for the 4 corners area. They have pinto and anasazi beans as well as turtle beans. Adobe Milling Po Box 596, Dove Creek CO 81324 1-800-542-3623

They are who my family has dealt with for years in processing their beans from the farm at Cedar Point.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Can't you just buy a package of Anasazi beans from the store and plant some of them (and eat the rest)? Is that too simple to actually work?

I am probably having a born-blonde-turning-grey moment. :-D

Cheers,
Michelle


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Michelle, thats the best way to do it.

Along those same lines, I buy organic fava beans that are sold at $4.00 a lb intended as a cover crop for eating, instead of the $8 a lb they cost in the grocery store, dill seed from bulk spices, where $4.00 will get you a lb of seed, and so on.

That link I posted above to Adobe Milling has the Anasazi beans in a 1 lb bag, but if you're going to go the route of ordering from them, I'd suggest just getting a bigger quantity and eating the rest. They do make great baked beans.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Michelle, I think that should be just fine. However, I don't recall ever seeing Anasazi in the stores.

In fact, I'm not thinking about buying adzuki beans as seed but rather getting 'em for sprouting. They are cheaper that way and I hope it's a good idea in that the variety would be an okay choice.

Interesting that Margaret and David are suggesting buying Anasazi as food from the same source. Doesn't seem likely that there would be more than one variety of these beans, anyway. Adzuki is probably a very different story.

I see that Bob's Red Mill Co. has Anasazi beans for $5.29 (1.75 lb) online but I need to get to the natural food store to see if they are with the other Red Mill products. Bountiful Gardens has Anasazi beans at $2.50 for 85 seeds but they aren't in any of the seed catalogs I have here at home.

Red Mill also has adzuki beans for about the same price as Anasazi. Here's what they say, "Adzuki Beans are great for sprouting. They're also great cooked and mashed to make refried beans." I'm really curious about these and maybe I can find 'em both at the store!

Should have a can of refried pintos around here someplace . . .

digitS'


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Hey, I checked out Dafy's cooking link!

How 'bout this from Dafy's cooking link!! I'll try this tomorrow for some navy bean soup:

* Posted by grainlady (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 1, 08 at 11:53

Cooking Beans In a Thermos

Choose a quality thermos, such as a Stanley. Plastic, lunch box type thermos bottles are not adequate for the task.

To make 2 c. "cooked" beans, soak 2/3 c. dry beans in water for 6-8 hours (or overnight).

After the beans have soaked and you are ready to "cook" them, prepare your thermos by filling it with hot tap water and placing the lid on it to heat the thermos (this step is a MUST!). Set aside. Bring water to a boil. Drain the hot tap water from the thermos, add the soaked and drained beans. Add enough boiling water to fill the thermos. Secure the top. Shake gently once or twice, then lay the thermos on it's side (this step is a MUST!). Another gentle shake to make sure they are evenly distributed. Leave overnight (or all day - depending on when you start them). Check after 4-6 hours (depending on the type of bean you are using) to see if the beans are done. If not, drain the liquid and add boiling water again and allow to sit for another hour or two.

Another source says:
If cooking grains, use two parts water to one part grain - 2:1 water to grain ratio.

If cooking legumes, use three parts water to one-part beans, lentils, etc. - 3:1 ratio.

Take care not to add too much because the beans/grains expand and won't have enough room for proper cooking.

-Grainlady


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I will be happy to mail you some Anasazis (I think from the same mill) if you want. Just send your address. I'm pretty sure the bag in the pantry is from the Adobe Mill.

See? I thought that they would carry those in Utah as they are sold everywhere here. Who'da thunk they wouldn't?? Another blonde-ish moment. I'm on a roll!

Cheers,
Michelle


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Digit - that sounded interesting to me too, please let me know how they turn out. I have NO dry beans in the house at all, go figure. I have a quart bag of a blend of lentils, barley and pasta letters (have had it for about 5 years and can't remember where I got it) that I used tonight with a frozen ham bone to make soup that was really good. I am planning on trying to grow scarlet runner beans and then have two kinds of wax beans to try growing for canning & freezing.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Scarlet runner beans are fun & pretty wild growers... The purple bush beans are kind of cool, too. They are funky black/purple beans, good to eat right off the bush (if the color isn't too startling).

Cheers,
Michelle


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Are you sure theyre not available at your plain old supermarkets up there, Digit? I get them at King Soopers (or whatever they might be called up thereCity MarketKrogeretc.), and I assume Safeway and probably Albertsons have them too. I checked KS online shopping site, and they show them: Adobe Milling/Anasazi Dry Beans (16 Ounce), $1.79. Of course thats only available for local deliveryand with a hefty delivery charge, but are you sure theyre not in your stores up there? They can be a little bit hard to spot because of all the other kinds of beans and all the different sizes. I was surprised to see theyre only about 10 cents a pound higher than the regular white beans. But of course they only come in the 1 lb. size. I tried to check the Safeway online shopping site, but it wont load for me, so I dont know for sure that they carry them. I meant to pick some up when I was a KS today but I forgot (its that brain glitch thing I have going on right now!) But check out your regular food store. You might be surprised!

David, do you have any idea how much Adobe Milling charges for shipping? I looked everywhere on their site and cant find anything about shipping charges. They have a 20 lb. bag of them for $18.50, so thats less than a buck a pound, but for 20 lbs. the shipping is probably pretty high, so it might not come out that different for me to just keep getting them at King Soopers. I might email Adobe Milling to find out what the charges would be. Wow! I just looked again and they have the same one pound packages as at King Soopers for $1.25 a bag. I think I will have to email them. When I come back down that way next September to revisit the site of my "interesting" vacation, I think Ill stop by to pick up a bag!

You guys have me REALLY wanting beans right now,
Skybird


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Skybird, we use that web site (Adobe Milling) to send beans around the country - they figure the shipping when they know the destination. I sent a 20 lb sack of pintos to my brother in Chicago for $7.00 something, but that was before UPS rates went up, and California is about $5.00. It still works out cheaper than buying it in those places locally, and then they're remarkably better than other pinto beans.

After purchase, if I keep them much beyond 2 years, they don't cook up as well, a lot of them just won't swell up.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Thanks, David. I think I might email them or give them a call to see how much they say 20 pounds would be. If it's anywhere near what I'd pay at King Soopers, I think I'll order them since they'll undoubtedly be MUCH fresher getting them direct. If I do get them, I think I'll vacuum pack a few big bags and throw them in the freezer. Bet they'll keep better and maybe even longer that way.

Does anybody know what it actually is about dried beans that prevents them from properly cooking tender when they get "too" old? How can something get SO dried out that is simply won't rehydrate all the way?

I'm gonna always wonder about that one if I don't find an answer!

Skybird


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Well, I gotta say that I don't eat beans all that much. I mean, it's been a 30 years since I've grown soup beans . . .

I'm fond of lentils and split peas. So, when I show up on the bean aisle that's about all I'm looking for. Maybe the lentils are a bit unique, and set me apart from the herd - whaddya think? But, designer beans . . .

There are no other Kroger stores up here except Fred Meyers. I thought of them after I wrote "natural food" store. Fred Meyers is where I buy most of the bulk things and they've got a good selection of organic, and such. The vitamin-type stores are distant . . .

I'll check around soon and before I tap helpful gardening friends or even mailorder. Thank you, Michelle!

Scarlet runners - - I once had this cute, little, old, 2-story house. (Still have a cute, little, old house but it's only 1 story.) Anyway, it was straight up and down on a narrow lot. By the back door, I'd plant white wave petunias and scarlet runner beans. Added to the cuteness . . .

I'll let you know how the the navy bean soup turns out. I wonder how old those beans are?

BTW - I did make that chicken pot pie . . . twice! Admittedly, the 1st try left quite a bit to be desired. But, I learned from my mistake - too dry, the filling fell right out of the crust and off the fork. The next time, the supply of gravy was more generous. That was the secret - making the gravy separate from the rest of the filling and having a good plenty to pour onto the meat and veggies before covering with the top crust!

I have a page in my recipe folder with the title, "Dafygardennut's Chicken & Dumplings." But, of course, I make pie crust rather than dumplings. Then I make "good enuf" gravy out of just broth and cornstarch. You may remember that I'm the guy who thinks making broth is the key to most every recipe. Making the gravy separately fit's with that scheme and it's what the cooks were doing in the link Bonnie provided. It turned out real good!

digitSteve


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Digit, I'm glad to know that you have mastered the "pot pie" now : )

This year was only my second attempt to grow beans of any kind, and I can't really say it was a big success. I ordered a bean inocculant this year in an attempt to do better, but I don't really understand how it works, or why it's needed? Anyway, I figured it couldn't hurt.

This year, along with using the leftover green bean and lima bean seeds, I am trying 'Royal Burgandy' bush. My space is so limited that I'm not even sure it's worth it, but I really love the taste of fresh snap beans.

Oh, and tonight was my first attempt at making split pea soup. I didn't tell DH that I used a "lowfat" smoked sausage in it, and he even made an unsolicited comment about how good it was, so I guess it turned out okay.

Bonnie


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Interesting conversation. I LOVE beans and they are significant part of my diet. In wraps, burritos, salads, soups, dips, side dishes, etc.

Bonnie, I made split pea soup yesterday in the crock pot. I used a lamb shank bone. I like it with sausage too. Even my son, Mr. Picky, loves it.

I'm going to have to try the famous beans mentioned above.

When we were on our way back from Calif. after the holidays we stopped in Hatch, New Mexico and bought a large bushel of Hatch Chiles. I thought I'd make a pork roast in the crock pot with the chiles and a big pot of pintos when my mom is here visiting next week. Would the Anasazi beans be good with a Mexican style dish?

Charlene


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I don't do Mexican stuff, Charlene, but this is from the Adobe Milling site:

Anasazi Beans are considered an unusually tasty baking bean, very scrumptious with ham and flavorful in Mexican dishes. This sweeter and mealier bean will allow many culinary delights! They also contain 75% less of the gas-causing carbohydrates compared to pinto beans!

And this is from the Legume site I linked way up above:

The anasazi is a white bean with a maroon patern and is a cousin to the pinto bean. They have a flavorful, sweet taste and are easier to digest and therefore cause less gas than the other beans. Interestingly, the anasazi bean only has 25% of the gas producing properties of the pinto which falls roughly in the middle of the gas producing scale. Like the other beans, they rehydrate to three times their size but cook in less time than similar beans their size. Anasazi beans can be substituted for pinto or red kidney beans in your favorite dishes. Not just another bean, the anasazi is flavorful, adaptable, and full of nutrition. And eating them gives one a sense of being in touch with the ancient Indians who gave them to us.

I say go for it! Try them---if you like them and if I decide to get a 20 lb. bag, maybe we can split it somehow so we don't wind up with so many they get too old to be good anymore. (Could bring them along to the swap.)

Skybird


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

My navy bean soup for lunch was a complete miss . . .

I'm not sure what went wrong. They've now been cooking (as in cooking on the stove) for 2 hours and are just now getting tender - I'll let 'em go another 30 minutes, maybe.

Perhaps the beans really were too old. They were the last in the bag and I can't remember when they were purchased. Perhaps the thermos just wasn't good enuf. I looked at the Stanley thermos website to see what the Grainlady was talking about and it said Aladdin/Stanley - lots of Aladdin/Stanley products. I think she may have been talking about a steel thermos.

The beans were soaked for 6 hours before going in the thermos with boiling water. The directions were followed except that I didn't "(c)heck after 4-6 hours (depending on the type of bean you are using) to see if the beans are done. If not, drain the liquid and add boiling water again and allow to sit for another hour or two." Instead they were just left for 10 hours at which time, they certainly were not done. Honestly, I wouldn't have expected them to take longer than 2 1/2 hours cooking if they'd just been soaked and then boiled.

I may try this scheme with split peas tonight. Gosh, they only take 45 minutes to cook on the stove so it should work. Or there's some 7-grain cereal we could have for breakfast.

digitS'


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I would be highly skeptical of such thermos recipes. you should use the dishwasher. Put beans in a mesh bag, top shelf, skip the detergent, run through two cycles.

The most reliable way I know of cooking beans is the simplest. Pick them over, put in pot, cover with water by a couple inches, bring water to boil and turn off the heat. Wait an hour, rinse and throw out the soaking water, then refill, add salt, bit of oil / butter, and simmer for 2 - 4 hours. Except for black beans, because the flavor is in the black stuff that comes off when you do this.


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I caught a part of Martha Stewart and she was doing Beans 101. She said on Adzuki beans you don't presoak. I have had Japanese bean cakes with sweet bean filling made from Adzuki beans and shave ice with sweet Adzuki beans. Humus is made from garbonzo beans and now days you can buy it with many different flavors. I have seen garlic and I tried some with roasted red peppers in it and it was good on whole grain crackers. I don't buy beans in the grocery because they are usually tough and old. So if I run out I go to the Health food store and buy them as most things there are much fresher. Especially dried herbs and you can buy 1 teaspoon or 1 cup and you don't have so much waste. I have jars of spices that I have bought that I hate to throw out but don't use them up quickly. So now things I use very often I buy at the health food store and put in my own containers and things like cardamon I buy a couple teaspoons and that is enough to last a couple years.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Thermoses and Dishwashers!! I almost always cook my beans in the crock pot with chicken or vegetable broth, a few bay leaves, maybe some crushed tomatoes. Then I have a base for whatever I want to make out of them.

Thanks for the info, Skybird. If I can find those beans I think I will make those when my mom is here next week :) I would split a bag with you.

margeretmontana- I love garbanzos, especially hummus! That's a good idea about the health food store. I've had a lot of my spices for a long time in my spice drawer where it's dark and cool. They go bad?


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

King Soopers has them, Charlene. You'll probably find them on the bottom shelf, and they're $1.79 for a 1 lb. bag.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Spices & herbs don't go bad they just loose their flavor and potency. So I buy cinnamon by the cupful (apple butter, apple pies, cinnamon rolls!) and cardamon and things like that by the teaspoon. Most are not in very good shape by 3 years. And wasteful and expensive to buy a jar and use a teaspoon.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I found the anasazi beans at King Soopers yesterday, Skybird! I bought two bags. Thanks! When I told my son that they don't cause as much gas he was actually disappointed (he's such a ten year old boy!).

Have a nice day. It's gorgeous outside here and supposed to warm up some.

Charlene


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I found anasazi beans at the health food store yesterday here in Montana Digit so look in yours there. I also made a flourless chocolate cake for someone who has to have gluetin free food. And guess what the main ingredient was? Garbonzo beans. A really moist snacking cake!


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

How coincidental that this would get bumped up right now! I just put my two bags of Anasazi's (the beans, not the people!) in water to soak overnite!

Baked beans tomorrow,
Skybird


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

As dry beans get older, they still will germinate just fine if stored dry and cool, but if you are eating them, stick with new crop beans. As they age, they just aren't as tender as the new ones. Best thing to do is grab 50-100 lbs. or so off the truck at harvest, then dump your old ones from last year on the truck to go to the mill.


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I cooked Anasazis yesterday and will be having them for lunch today. Yummmmmmmy.

PLMK how long you have to cook them after the soak. I think mine needed about 25 minutes in the pressure cooker - I checked them after 15 minutes, but that wasn't long enough. Some were done, some were crunchy. So I cooked them a little more...

Cheers,
Michelle

Cheers,
Michelle


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Sat, Feb 23, 08 at 21:12

Well I finally got my beans ready and in the ovenmy two biggest casseroles full of beans! I soaked mine overnite and then was planning to cook them for an hour, Michelle, but I was out in the yard cleaning up perennialsand they got cooked for closer to TWO hours! They are DEFINITELY soft this time! I havent made baked beans for a long time now cause the last time I did it was one of those times they NEVER got soft, and I didnt enjoy them at allafter all the work of making them.

After I came in from the yardand after the beans were cookedI went to The Legume site to see what they said about cooking them, and I found this great reference for every kind of dried bean in the world: Cooking Beans If it doesnt go there by itself, click on Tablet 3! For Anasazis it says to just soak them 4 hours and then cook for an hour, or for a pressure cooker 20 minutes if soaked or 25 minutes if not soaked at 15 pounds of pressure.

I also wonder if possibly you added salt before you cooked yours, because I used to do that but I didnt this time after finding this: Thou shall NOT use acids (chili sauce, ketchup, lemon juice, tomato, wine or vinegar) for soaking or cooking beans. Acid seals the hole where water enters the bean and keeps the bean from becoming soft. Salt does the same thing.

I ALWAYS used to add salt when cooking them, and I now wonder if that wasnt at least part of the problem I had when I couldnt get them to soften up. Mine this time are WAY soft, but still not falling apart even after soaking more than 12 hours and then cooking for almost 2 hourstho I really wasnt "cooking" themthey were just barely below the simmer point for the whole time.

When I came in and took them off the heat and tasted one to see if they were soft, I liked it so much (even without salt) that I kept eating them. Im not a big fan of "just plain beans," but the Anasazis are so good, I even like them plain!

And I had some refrigerator yeast dough in the fridge, so I flattened it out, rolled it up into a long French bread loaf, and I have it rising in my fancy French bread baking pan, so as soon as the beans are done Im sticking the bread in, and in a couple hours Im having dinner of homemade baked beans and homemade French bread! Can hardly wait!

Skybird


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

We just finished that same meal, save pintos instead of Anasazi. Whole wheat, home made bread is pretty good stuff. All dolled up with peach chutney for the beans, and plum jam for the bread.

I sure agree on acid and beans. That just doesn't work. But I always add salt when I start to cook 'em. I suppose I should try without, and see what difference it makes.

Anyway, enjoy, and revel in the fact that beans are always better the next day. And the day after. After 3, freeze 'em.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

The only baked beans I have ever had are the canned variety, so I have a couple of questions for you bean experts. What temperature are you baking them at, and if you aren't adding any tomato, or vinegar, etc., what are you baking them IN ... just water? Or do you add the sauce ingredients once they are cooked through? I assume you are baking with a cover on?

Does anyone have a good baked bean recipe they are willing to share? DH likes the Ranch style beans with a smoky flavor, rather than the regular baked beans which tend to be very sweet.

Oh, and I'm going to have to check out City Market for those Anasazi beans, since they are the same company as King Soopers. I checked Walmart, and they had just the basics - pintos, lentils, split peas, navy beans, etc.

Thanks,
Bonnie


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I also wonder if possibly you added salt before you cooked yours, because I used to do that but I didnt this time after finding this: Thou shall NOT use acids (chili sauce, ketchup, lemon juice, tomato, wine or vinegar) for soaking or cooking beans

Guilty as charged! I am going to try it w/o the salt next time. Thanks Skybird!

I wonder what the allowance for altitude would be on the Walton site?

Cheers,
Michelle


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

re baked beans, I suppose there are thousands of different versions, but essentially, its boiled, cooked beans that are baked, uncovered, for several hours at a low heat in the oven with some kind of fat. That fat helps form a really delicious crust on the top of the dish, so that needs to be turned under now and again to flavor the rest of the pot, and a new one forms. One also needs to add some kind of liquid as it evaporates off.

For the fat, here in the '52 kitchens, we use either olive oil, which gives a really distinct flavor, butter, or snipped up bacon pieces, but thats getting into pork and beans. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

So the basic formula is clean and soak a lb or so of beans, boil them until tender, then pour the whole thing, liquid and all, into a flat casserole dish, and add the oil, salt, and what ever flavoring you would want - I personally can't stand sweet beans, but some folks add molasses, brown sugar, mustard, sugar frosted flakes, and so on. Pop into the oven at 300, liquid should be just at the top of the beans. It should simmer, and in an hour, the top should be brown and starting to get crispy. Fold the top under, add more liquid if needed, come back in an hour. Repeat until dinner time.

If I were to make the smokey, bbq flavored variety, about 30 minutes before dinner, I'd stir in a cup of bbq sauce.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 24, 08 at 20:45

Well Im definitely one of the ones who likes them SWEET! I do everything David mentionedexcept the Frosted Flakes! Frosted Flakes???

For the way I make them I started out with my mothers old recipeand just kept adding stuff. I totally agree with David. There are so many ways to make beans that I doubt that there are any two people who do them exactly the same. I recommend looking up a whole bunch of recipes online and writing down the ingredients that sound good to you and then make up your own quantities of each. Write down what you use so you can modify it the next time, and the time after thatuntil you get them just the way you like them. Make fairly small batches to start withor you could even do your own taste test by soaking and cooking a bunch of them and then baking several different small batcheswith different ingredientsall at the same time to get a feel for which you like best. Probably the only one universal ingredient would be some sort of a tomato base. (Ill have to make a batch next summer when I have fresh tomatoes and add some diced ones. Bet that would be good!)

Heres my ingredients for a comparison to the other recipes you look up.

~2 lbs. beans - soak - cook till tender (in just plain water) I discard the soaking water and then save the cooking water to use when baking them.
~2 LARGE/HUMONGOUS onions - diced very finely (I love onions!)
~1-3 stalks celery - also diced VERY finely
~2/3 cup molasses
~1 cups catsup
~1 cup brown sugar - packed
~1/4 -1/3 cup white sugar
~ 2-3 tsp. dry mustard
~1 tsp. mustard seed
~ - 1 tsp. celery seed
~2-3 tsp. salt (or to taste)
~1 lb. bacon - dice it pretty finely, then nuke until its hot to get rid of some of the fator not! (its easier to dice it if its half frozenI just slice across the ends of the slices) (So mine are PORK & beans!)
~When I have parsley outside, I chop up some of that and add itbut dont have any big enough right now!
~I also considered adding a little basil, but since I dont have fresh I decided not to. You could add a little bit of whatever herbs/spices you really like and then add more or dont use them at all the next time.

After cooking the beans I put everything else in a bowl and mix it up good and then add it to the beans, and when its all well mixed I spoon it into my two casseroles. THEN I add enough of the cooking water to make them very soupy. I think its just easier to add the water after I have them in the cooking dishes already.

Bake in a "slow" ovenand I do uncovered, as David said. As David said, 300 is good. I did 325 last nite cause I started them late. 275 would work well too if you have enough time. With baked beans theyre already cooked before you put them in the oven, and all the baking does is to give them the good flavor. Slower and longer is definitely better with beans. I baked mine just under 3 hours last nite and they came out good, but I would have left them in a couple hours longer in a cooler oven if I had had the time. And, as David said, while theyre baking, keep checking and keep adding more water as it cooks in. By the time mine were done last nite I had used all the cooking water, and before I went to bed I added more water in each casserole for it to soak in overnite. I dont like them drybut thats a matter of taste too.

If you want a smoky flavor you could also just add some liquid smoke before sticking them in the oven. That would be an easy way to do it.

The way I make them is DEFINITELY not something you want to eat if youre trying to lose weight! ;-)

I still use cheap canned ones like "soup starter" sometimes when Im in the mood for beans but dont have time to make the real thing! I dump a can or two in a pot, add a bunch of stuff, and simmer till done. But if you make your ownwith whatever ingredientsyoure not gonna think a whole lot of the canned type anymore!

And, yeah, Bonnie, City Market should have the Anasazi's. I usually find them on the bottom shelf, but be sure you take the time to really look if you dont see them right off the batthere will be very few of them compared to all the other beans!

Happy beanssweet or not,
Skybird

P.S. Michelle, I didnt see anything about altitude on that bean cooking page. I think most people arent even aware that it can make a difference, but if youre gonna do them in the pressure cooker, I still dont really think it would make any difference since an absolute amount of pressure is built up inside the pan regardless of the "outside" pressure. And for cooking in a regular pan, you can just keep testing them when they get close to doneunless youre out in the garden! ;-)


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I still dont really think it would make any difference since an absolute amount of pressure is built up inside the pan regardless of the "outside" pressure.

Skybird, you are pure genius! I still consider the pressure cooker as a magical item of great danger and mystery. Imagine a monkey with a pressure cooker and fire.

:-D

Cheers,
Michelle


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

  • Posted by skybird z5, Denver, CO (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 24, 08 at 22:21

ROFL! Thanks for the good laugh, Michelle! There IS an air of danger about themI know what you mean. As long as you dont let whatever youre cooking go dry, theyre perfectly safe. And if you do let it go drythats what the little safety release valve on the lid is for. Its like a fuse is for electric, but its for pressureand it DOES work! Take my word for it! The pan itself will never blow up! But if youre cooking something ooey-gooey in it when that little valve blowsyoure gonna have a VERY messy kitchen! Still in one piece, but very messy! (As I understand it, you also need to be careful when you cook cereal type things that can foam up.) So dont fear your pressure cookerand keep the monkeys out of the kitchen! ;-)

Still laughing,
Skybird


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I got a Phillipe Richard 4 Qt pressure from JCP for christmas that has been really good. Once you get it to pressure you only want the heat high enough to barely make the weight jiggle (and it screws into place so it can't blow off) which is about 1 on my electric stove. It has 2 safety valves and it will not let you open it until the pressure is gone. If you try to open it too soon the lid will turn slightly, but won't release until the safety latch clicks.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Ok, all this talk of beans made me realize that we don't eat enough of them here. So I dug through my recipe file the other day and found this, that I had copied down from somewhere! It's very simple, and I had to say that as I was making it I had my doubts. I was especially concerned about the amount of onions in proportion to beans. Since 2 onions wouldn't fit in my cassarole with the rest of the ingredients I cut it down to 1 1/2. But after eating this, I realize it would have been fine with the whole 2.

Bottom line - this is really good!!! Great comfort food.

1934 California pork and beans

1 cup lima beans
4 cups cold water
salt
flour
pepper
thyme
2 large onions, thinly sliced
6 pork chops
c apple cider

Soak beans overnight in water that covers them. In the morning, pour off the water and add the four cups of water above, along with a pinch of salt. Cover and cook over a low flame for about an hour and a half.

Combine flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Rub the pork chops with seasoned flour.

Fill a large baking pan with alternate layers of beans and onions. Place the pork chops on top and pour cider over the whole thing.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Then turn the chops over and cook until browned.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Hi guys! Just thought I would mention that the City Market here had 10 lb. sacks of Anasazi beans for $10.79 or $10.99, I can't remember which, but either way, a lot better price than the regular 1 1b. bags for $1.79. I actually bought the smaller bag, since we've never tried them before, but if they are good, I may go back for the bigger bag.

Soooo.... I forgot to soak them last night. Does the bring to a boil, then soak for an hour method work for that kind of bean? I was going to do them in the crockpot, but since I dropped the ball on the prep work, I may resort to the pressure cooker. It's either that, or wait until tomorrow to cook them. Also, do I have to bake them afterwards, or can I just throw the onions, ham, etc. in the pressure cooker after they're tender, and cook them for a few more minutes? I was going to serve them with chicken enchiladas, and I need the oven for that, so I am looking for alternatives.

Thanks,
Bonnie


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Bonnie, thats what I always do - bring to a boil, take it off the heat and cover, leave it an hour, rinse, and then cook.

I just sent a 20 lb sack of pinto beans from the Adobe milling outfit to San Diego, and it cost $12.40 for the beans, and $12.00 to send it UPS, so the shipping rates have gone up substantially. But that still works out to just slightly over a buck a pound, which, all in all, isn't too bad.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I just want to add this bean cooking link again for future reference. For Anasazis, go down to the Soft Bean section and it gives you info for non-pressure cooker and pressure cooking soaking and cooking times.

Enjoy-----I'm sure you will,
Skybird

Here is a link that might be useful: Bean Cooking Chart


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Well, here is my bean report. Soaked the beans for 4 hours like the Bean Cooking Chart suggested. Some of the skins were coming off after the soaking. Then I put them in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes. After that, I added sauted onion, garlic, diced ham and some seasonings, and brought it back up to pressure for another 5 minutes. BTW, Skybird, the pressure cooker I have doesn't allow you to set it at a certain pressure. You just have to get it to what they call "full pressure" where the valve rocks and it makes a bit of a whistling sound, for the amount of time specified.

The beans were nice and tender, though a lot of the skins had come off. I think the Anasazi beans are sweeter than a pinto bean. They tasted good, but I think they would go better with some of my DH's famous bar-b-qued pork ribs. For the chicken enchiladas, I think black beans would have been a better choice. I'll definitely try the Anasazi's again though.

Bonnie


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

That's interesting! I soaked mine overnite, and none of the skins came off of them. The only time I've ever had that happen is when I did the "speedy" method of bringing them to a boil and then letting them sit like David suggested above. I've never done it that way again because of that. (And I've never done them in a pressure cooker either.)

My pressure cooker is olde---like me---by the way, so the "control" on top is a round (wheel shaped) piece with three holes to set it for 5, 10, or 15 lbs. of pressure. I think most of the newer ones only have the one setting, and I believe it's for 15 lbs. of pressure. That's the only one I ever use for the kinds of things I do anyway.

Don't know about enchiladas since I don't make them, but the Anasazis would definitely be good with a barbeque type thing or in ham soup. I'm still lovin' my baked beans!

Just thought of something! You soaked them in cold water, didn't you?

Skybird


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

We make a pot of beans once a week, using the hour soak method. I don't remember skins falling off from that - we just bring them to the point were a few are starting to pop up to the surface and float, and then turn off the heat and cover by the time the electric coil has cooled, most are floating. If we forget and the water is actively boiling, we take off the heat. An hour later, I rinse them off in a colander, refill the pot to cover the beans with what ever comes out of the tap temperature water, add salt (but that may make them tough), some oil so it won't foam over, cover, and put on low heat, like #1 out of 6 on the electric dial, and leave it. If I do this at noon, they're plenty tender by 4 in the afternoon, and somewhere in there, I may have to add some more water.

I've had the skins come off, but thats usually from adding something acidic like tomato sauce, and then they get tough, and so then I add more water, and then its getting late so I crank up the heat and boil it vigorously or somehting.

There are many, many pictographs on the walls of the cliff dwellings, showing the Anasazi worrying about this as well. Some say that Kokopele is actually sampling bean toughness, not playing a flute.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

  • Posted by keen101 4b-5a Loveland, CO (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 18, 11 at 7:32

I recently got some interest about a picture of my mix of beans that i'm going to attempt growing out this year on another gardening forum. I figured you guy's might be interested in it here too. I posted a little about the varieties on the 'Dry Beans' thread, but there was little interest there, and this one seems to have had some considerable chatter regarding the anasazi bean. I will do my best to include the picture in my post, and include a link to the bean page on my website (which i just created). I'm currently just calling it my Four Corners Bean Mix.

-Andrew

Here is a link that might be useful: http://biolumo.com/beans.html


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Those beans are beautiful. I looked at your selection at the link - looks like a great project.

A couple of thoughts-

- Anasazi bean doesn't take nearly as long to cook as most beans - which is an advantage on its own, but I dunno how that would do with a mix. It also has a distinctly sweet taste, but that may be a plus.

Why none of the famous Dove Creek Pintos :-)

Your tag says you live in Loveland, that link says you're down around here?


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

  • Posted by keen101 4b-5a Loveland, CO (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 18, 11 at 18:32

Thanks! Yeah, last year i put together a mix of Anasazi, Rio Zape, Bolita, and the Zuni Gold bean. I cooked them in a crock pot overnight, and the next day i ate three or four bowls of them, because they were the best beans i had ever eaten!

I didn't include pintos because they seem very common. Yeah i live in loveland, but i consider all four states in the four corners region (not just where the corners touch), so i can understand you confusion.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Andrew, your photo's and comments are great! I applaud your success in growing these varieties and sharing your experiences with us.

It was fun to look back thru this and recall what has happened in my garden over the last 4 seasons. I have not made any real commitment to growing dry beans. The farthest step was to growing soybean.

I grew a half-dozen soy varieties in 2008 and finally narrowed that down to only 1 in 2011. It may be that others have a wider choice but it seems often that I'm stuck with taking shotgun approaches and ending up with 1 or 2 varieties of anything, that work well in my garden. Certainly, hoping for success with soybeans required that approach. Dry kidney beans would likely have been an easier road. However, I look back on what I remember about Soldier beans that I talked about in that 1st post - they were far and away the most productive for me back there in the 1970's.

Actually, I think you are taking these area differences into account, Andrew, in your land-race experiments. I bet you feel that your expected success in growing melons almost depends on crosses. I'm not sure how readily beans will cross but trying a lot of varieties and measuring production makes sense. It also makes sense to figuring out what you can best do with the produce once it arrives in the kitchen.

Adzuki, I talked a little about above. Fail! They didn't mature well. I suspect that I would have had very, very little germination from the seed that I harvested that year.

Now, I'm going back and reviewing those ideas for chicken pot pie. There's no reason for me not to be honing those skills over the next few weeks and I'm looking forward to it!

Steve


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I don't know how it happens, but small scale, home grown dried beans have a significant edge in flavor over store-bought varieties - much the same as any home grown veggie.

And when you mix them up like Andrew is doing, then you really have something good.


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

I think I tried some Anasazi beans a long time ago. Forgot what they taste like. Will have to reacquaint myself...

Being vegetarian, I eat a lot of beans and lentils. More of the latter actually, since my family eats South Indian food daily. Lentils even show up in dessert! We normally have about 6 or 7 different kinds of lentils on hand in our pantry. Anyone wanting some Indian lentil or bean recipes, just holler!


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RE: This Country is (was) Full of Beans!

Andrew, how would I make the Asian dessert of buns filled with Adzuki beans?

I know, that isn't what you suggested but that sweet bean paste is real good! Could lentils be substituted?

Nooooo . . . lentils for dessert?!!?

Steve


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