I cleaned out my kitchen this weekend — the ‘fridge and cabinets and everything. When I did, I discovered that I had about 100 pounds of dried beans. Some I bought in bulk and stored in glass jars because I like the way they look, and I assumed I’d use them up quickly. And more still came from a bean share I get through my CSA; we’re able to order grains, beans and flour from a small organic farm in western New York called Cayuga Pure Organics. My intentions were good when I placed the order, but when I received the beans, I got lazy and stashed them instead of cooking them. So now I’m faced with enough beans to run me out of my apartment. I’ve vowed to cook every last one.
Last night I made a giant pot of Bal Arneson’s Kidney Bean Stew (1 bag of beans down, about 45 to go). The recipe calls for canned beans and you can well use those, but since I possess so many dried beans, I used those and added them after the spices but before the sweet potatoes (I simmered the stew for about 40 minutes to cook the beans before adding in the sweet potatoes, then followed the rest of the recipe as written). My plan was to make a big pot of beans and eat some for dinner over rice (I’m a huge fan of this Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley), then bring the rest for lunch on (Meatless) Monday, and Tuesday, too. So far, the plan is working well.