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Humor - Beans, Beans the Magical...frrrp!
There is no easy way to say this, but beans make you fart.
Actually, that WAS pretty easy. Not very couth, but still, really, REALLY easy (and I'm sure to some low brows out there, very funny). (OK, I laughed too.)
Although there are numerous pills and liquids that can be taken to diminish or banish this humorous, yet oft embarrassing noise from our presence, there is no standby for the ol' fashioned method I got from my parents and gramma. Preparing the beans properly!
Now, this method is easily enough described in just a few short sentences, but, like many meaningful, and insightful articles, this one must be at least 300 words long.
I know the subject of today's contest isn't flatulence and how to live with it, but I had to start out with that to get you interested in the subject matter (assuming that you are any average, beer guzzling, movie addict of the male species). The women would have been satisfied with the title, "Quiet Nights and the Love of Burritos". That would, as my favorite writer, Dave Barry, would say, make a good name for a rock band.
In any case, I am here to tell you what the food industry doesn't want you to know and isn't willing to do! (That should get all the conspiracy nuts in here too. Although, if the food industry knew what I'm about to explain, they would probably want EVERYONE to hear it since it is a time hog and they know how lazy we Americans are.)
When I was a child (bodily, I am an adult, but brainally I refuse to grow up), my parents used a method of cooking beans which practically guaranteed the eater the ability to indulge without being worried about the, shall we say, toots. No blaming the dog, the baby, or invisible elephants for the sudden bursts of humorous flatulence screaming from dad's butt.
I have often wondered why this method vanished from American kitchens, but then I got a job and realized that there just ain't a whole lot of time to watch over beans when you are trying to get to work in rush hour traffic that is so slow even glaciers are passing you.
But now that I am sans work, I have put my mind to the rediscovery of my gram-gram's secret cooking techniques.
Step One: (I bet you thought I'd NEVER get to this part) take a pan large enough to easily hold the amount of beans you wish to cook. Please note: This step must take place on the morning before you plan to cook said beans.
Step Two: (Nothing funny to say here, sorry.) Put the beans in the pan and rinse them out several times. This will remove a large amount of built up dust, dirt, and insect parts which love to hide on our food. (Don't believe me? The FDA has guidelines for how many rat hairs, bug legs, and parts per million of fecal matter can be in a can of processed food.) Ewwwww!
Step Three: Fill the pan with water (preferably filtered) so that the beans are fully covered, and set it aside to soak.
Steps Four through Six: Three times during the remainder of the day (minimum) you will drain the beans and refill the pan with water as before. Rinse them one final time.
Step Seven: Fill the pan with water and place on a low heat. The low heat is a key factor in this slow cooking method. (Well, of course it is. I suppose it wouldn't be slow cooking if you were to use the microwave. But given the right pan you would get some lovely fireworks (and a visit from your friendly, neighborhood fireman.)) I'm just saying....
As you simmer these beans, make sure that you stir them occasionally. I like to sing a moving rendition of Every Thorn Has Its Rose. It always stirs me. (Yes, I'm well aware of what I wrote. And I stand by it 100 parts per million.)
You may even have to put more water into the beans as they cook over the next two to three hours. Cold water is OK. It won't disturb the simmering process.
You will know the beans are done when you can squeeze one and it is soft. (Just a legal note: Make sure you do NOT squeeze a hot bean. Squeezing hot beans can lead to injuries including but not limited to: burned fingers, singed thumbs, intestinal ferrets, capsized colon, exploding nasal monkeys and blisters. You have been warned!)
Step Eight: you may now drain the beans if you wish to use them as a side dish or you may leave the accumulated sauce in the beans. You will want to season the beans at this time too. NEVER before they are cooked.
The beans are ready for whatever you have planned for them, whether straight beans or a five alarm, singe the eyebrows off your face, widow-maker chili, they are primed to do your bidding without all the foofing.
I hope this method works for you. It was always a winner with my family. I wonder why mom stopped using it when we got the dog.