Beans beans beans. Despite all the boy-humor about beans, beans are good for you. High fiber, low fat, tasty and cheap. In the past few days, I've cooked 4 (that's f.o.u.r) pounds of small navy beans. That sounds incredible doesn't it. Say it with me - four pounds of navy beans. Two pounds went into a test batch of baked beans. The other two pounds went into a batch of classic navy bean soup. It's all good.
I did the baked beans in the crock pot, and I have to say that they're good, but I prefer a thicker, how shall I say, spreadable kind of baked bean. These weren't soupy but there wasn't anything holding the beans together.
The bean soup looks like a great success. The beans are cooked and the soup is smelling good. I removed some of the beans and pureed them so the soup is thicker. I KNEW I should have bought that conical strainer. I just want it. The little cuisinart did a fine job though.
I'm about halfway through truing up all those pink and green squares.
Bought a couple new books today and so I think I'll listen to the weather report and then curl up with one of them and a glass of wine. Wild living? You be the judge.
Getting back to what makes people happy.... I am trimming up the 320 blocks. Tedious? Maybe. Boring? Better not be too boring or there's room to lop off fingers. Rewarding? Yes.
Meanwhile, I successfully installed my Airport Extreme Card. It's WAY cool. I thought the instructions in the Powerbook's manual were very helpful. And it works GREAT. I was sending emails from work just sitting in the breakroom. Not something I'll use a lot but it's nice to have.
I brought lentil soup to work a la crockpot. That made my co-workers happy and that makes me happy too. There's just nothing like cheap food that's excellent for you and easy to make.
Let's review what I made this weekend, triggered in part by my new dutch oven: pot roast, beef bbq (oh yeah), lentil soup, chicken fricassee, chicken soup (oh yeah, baby!) and nicely done chicken to go in the chicken soup.
Don't you hate it when the meat for the soup is all dried out and overcooked? Not in MY soup! I have made chicken this quick easy way for years: Bring huge pot of water to boil. Throw in whole chicken. Bring to boil and keep there for 1 minute. Turn it off and leave sit, covered for 1 hour. Take chicken off bones. Wonderful moist, perfectly cooked chicken.
As a side bonus you get the startings of wonderful chicken soup. Throw the bones of the chicken back in the same pot of hot water. Add your basics: whole onions, whole garlic cloves, whole carrots, whole stalks of celery. I use a big tea ball like thing and put my garlic and peppercorns in that. Bring to a boil and then simmer for awhile. Strain into a different pot and discard all the bones and veggies. Add diced carrots and celery, adjust seasonings and cook until vegetables are cooked.
When you're going to serve, heat up the soup, throw in the meat to heat through and serve over freshly cooked rice or pasta. Don't store the starchy stuff in the soup. Eat up, it's good for you.