Saturday, May 18, 2013

Beans, Books, and Bed

Funny, or sad, as it may be, I don't recall ever seeing anyone prepare dried beans.  So...I gave it try.  We eat a lot of pasta,which I like because it is easy and versatile, though I'd like to have something just as versatile but more hearty.  I let a pound of beans soak all day while we were away at work/school, and I must say that I was impressed by how much water the beans absorbed.

When we got home in the afternoon I let the beans simmer for about an hour and a half.  For dinner I enjoyed some beans with garden fresh greens, sauteed mushrooms from last week's farmers' market, and pickled peppers. 

While the beans simmered, my younger son and I walked to the library to pickup a book I had reserve.  One of the things I enjoy about where we live is the close proximity to our town's parks, waterways, and the library.  And the library is real gem - when we moved here the library was housed in a musty room on the second floor of the Town Hall.  In 2006, a new library was built.  The new library building is very open, utilizes natural lighting quite well, and is heated and cooled by geothermal heat pumps.  I really wish our house had geothermal rather than an oil burning furnace.

The library also has a nice children's section that offers many activities throughout the year.

After dinner, the boys wanted to go "camping."  And so we the backyard.  We do this a few times a year.  And each time it is fun to point out the night sounds to the boys that they ordinarily don't hear from the comfort of their room.    

I haven't taken my boys on a deep-in-the-woods camping trip.  But I think my four-year-old could handle it now.  And so I shall look for a quasi-nearby place that could offer a "wild" experience.


  1. I sure like that last photo a lot with the boys in the tent and the chicken in the foreground.

    Cool library! (I am a librarian so I probably'd think all libraries were cool). Our city is building a new library right now. Set to open in October. I am really looking forward to it (though it is not the library where I work I do visit there weekly)

    When we discovered dried beans we were pretty darn thrilled. It is so cheap and nourishing. I do overnight soak and slow-cook beans as you described, but I also love doing the 2 minute boil quick soak and then pressure cooking. This gets us bean ready to eat within hours. I think they are more tender and nice when slow cooked, but I fail to plan ahead enough frequently.

    1. All libraries are cool! And I'm intrigued by pressure cooking. I bet the library has some info on pressure cooking!