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Pulses: beans, peas, lentils - love 'em? hate 'em?


Anna N

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5 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

I love beans of all varieties.

 

I love putting some pintos and pork into the crock pot to slow cook all day for dinner. Ribs are my favorite cut for the bean pot, but pork chops or chunks of butt work great too. Thrown in a little jalapeno and onion toward the last hour or so of cooking and bake up a pan of cornbread or vegetable corn pancakes in the summer and dinner is done.

 

This time of year is when the fresh shell beans come in, and while I can't find any fresh, the Pict Sweet Company based in Bells, TN offers fresh frozen varieties in my grocer's freezer case. Speckled butter beans, purple hulls, black eyes, field peas with snaps (green beans), and baby limas were among the selection last time, and I picked up a package of purple hulls. I am hoping they will come up to the memory of the fresh ones I picked and ate in Louisiana.

 

I got ripped off one time at New Year's when I bought clam shell packages of black eyes in the produce department thinking they were fresh. They were not even as good as the ones I cook up from dry and much more expensive. If I had known what I was buying, I could have definitely gone with dry or maybe frozen. Either would have been an improvement. I found out on eG that they were most likely just soaked dry ones, and sure enough, on reading the teeny tiny fine print, that is exactly what they were. This really stung because it was for a holiday meal. I do not recommend this product at all, and I'll never get suckered again.

 

What is a Mexican dinner without frioles refritos?

 

I love canned and rinsed chick peas as a garnish for salads.

 

Baked beans with onion and whole canned tomatoes mixed with ketchup and mustard with bacon cooked on top low and slow is a dish I almost always fix to go with barbecued pork ribs. 

 

If you don't like beans, though, just don't eat 'em. Life is too short to try to choke down something when there are so many other things available that can be relished.

 

"What is a Mexican dinner without frioles refritos?"

One I might consider eating. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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I used to think I disliked certain types of beans and then realized I didn't like the dish I had associated them with. (I hate my Mom's navy bean soup. I also hate bacon. Until I was an adult, I had only tried certain types of beans cooked with bacon. Once I started being a vegetarian, the world changed.) I started trying different spices and applications, and now I like them all.

 

Lentils are a sad story for me. I became a vegetarian in college. So, I wound up eating some meals in other vegetarian students' homes. Lentil stew got made quite frequently. Even as an adult, it would show up quite often as the vegetarian dish made by hippie types during my 14 years living in New Mexico. (lentils, potatoes, and carrots, flavored with salt and black pepper) After a while, I could no longer eat lentil stew, I was sick of it. Then, years later, I was watching a cooking show and the host was making some meat filled pastries from Morocco (IIRC) and flavored them with allspice, cinnamon and dried chiles. And, I suddenly realized that I could spice lentils like that. So now, I add some 'sweet' spices to my lentils, in addition to onions and dried chile, and they are good. -And different enough to get kind comments at potlucks.

 

I have made recipes I like for lots of beans now. India is a great source for ideas, people there make so many beans in so many ways.

 

Baked beans from a can are ok, but I am working on perfecting really great baked beans. I am close, but not quite there yet.

 

I do have an aversion to eating beans with pasta, that's where the texture bugs me. Minestrone is ok, but, I tend to not eat pasta and beans in the same bite.

 

I also tend to prefer cooked from dry as opposed to canned. The canned are ok as a quick hot meal, but I disguise them with lots of vegetables and sauce.

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I love pulses, my favorites are chickpeas, borlotti and fava (dry), black beans, in that order. I can't count the number of times Iv'e been served undercooked, starchy, or even crunchy (:S) beans - I think that this is the worst offense against pulses. I like mine fully cooked - meltingly tender and creamy. I also don't really care for cold beans of any kind.

My favorite dishes are probably hummus (obviously), pasta e fagioli, ful medames, cholent and Romanian style bean stew. You might notice that all are made with pulses that are simmered for quite a long time.

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~ Shai N.

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Then there are the bean products - tofu in all its forms, soy sauce in its. I use nearly every day.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

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Johnnybird will not eat beans if he can avoid them.  I eat beans cold from the can or with sausages as beanie weenies.

My favorite thing though is fresh lima beans with fresh corn kernels with butter and salt and pepper...............

If you can't like them after trying many times...........F*%^  'em.  Don't eat 'em.  They aren't for you.  Do you eat many other forms of fiber/protein?   Then F*%^ it .......you are fine.

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

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3 minutes ago, suzilightning said:

Johnnybird will not eat beans if he can avoid them.  I eat beans cold from the can or with sausages as beanie weenies.

My favorite thing though is fresh lima beans with fresh corn kernels with butter and salt and pepper...............

If you can't like them after trying many times...........F*%^  'em.  Don't eat 'em.  They aren't for you.  Do you eat many other forms of fiber/protein?   Then F*%^ it .......you are fine.

I think you are probably right. But they weigh on my conscience.  They are like a joke that everybody in the room gets except me.  I live alone. I can eat whatever I want. I am not a vegetarian or an environmental activist. I don't own stocks in any enterprise that grows them, dries them, packages them or markets them.   There is absolutely no compelling reason why I should give a damn. But I do. Perhaps I'm due for counselling.:D:D

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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5 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

I used to think I disliked certain types of beans and then realized I didn't like the dish I had associated them with. (I hate my Mom's navy bean soup. I also hate bacon. Until I was an adult, I had only tried certain types of beans cooked with bacon. Once I started being a vegetarian, the world changed.) I started trying different spices and applications, and now I like them all.

 

Lentils are a sad story for me. I became a vegetarian in college. So, I wound up eating some meals in other vegetarian students' homes. Lentil stew got made quite frequently. Even as an adult, it would show up quite often as the vegetarian dish made by hippie types during my 14 years living in New Mexico. (lentils, potatoes, and carrots, flavored with salt and black pepper) After a while, I could no longer eat lentil stew, I was sick of it. Then, years later, I was watching a cooking show and the host was making some meat filled pastries from Morocco (IIRC) and flavored them with allspice, cinnamon and dried chiles. And, I suddenly realized that I could spice lentils like that. So now, I add some 'sweet' spices to my lentils, in addition to onions and dried chile, and they are good. -And different enough to get kind comments at potlucks.

 

I have made recipes I like for lots of beans now. India is a great source for ideas, people there make so many beans in so many ways.

 

Like you, I used to think I hated all things bean as well.  Then I realized that it was simply because they had been so poorly prepared at home.  Now, I love red lentil with lemon soup, Senate navy bean soup and a lovely chile recipe that has become my go to.

I think this came about because I found the flavor profile that I prefer and then found the recipes that fit it.

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45 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I think you are probably right. But they weigh on my conscience.  They are like a joke that everybody in the room gets except me.  I live alone. I can eat whatever I want. I am not a vegetarian or an environmental activist. I don't own stocks in any enterprise that grows them, dries them, packages them or markets them.   There is absolutely no compelling reason why I should give a damn. But I do. Perhaps I'm due for counselling.:D:D

Here's my counselling.......GET OVER IT!!!!

You tried them multiple times and didn't like them.......let it go!!!!

I used to try liver for my grandfather every few months when I made it for him........NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  I finally realized it wasn't for me.

I make salmon for Johnnybird.   After trying salmon multiple times including in Sequim, WA where it was fresh out of the water.. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  Do I still cook it for him - YES.  Do I beat myself up because I don't like it?  Heck no.

 

As Idina Menzel sings in FROZEN     "Let it go"

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I so agree with letting it go.  I'll fess up to this....if you sub in the word "fish" for every time Anna has typed bean, there I am. If it swims and has scales I hate it  and nothing is ever going to change my mine.  Shellfish, good, scaled fish, nasty or better yet. NASTY.  I've spent years having people tell me that if cooked right, I would love it.  That's just BS so don't tell me that anymore.  I'll  eat Anna's beans and she can enjoy my fish.

Boy that felt good to get off  my chest! 

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I love beans. I have a few favorites.  And to me different varieties have different flavors.  Some are quite bland but others have a distinctive flavor - sometimes a "meaty" quality.

 

My favorites have changed over the years as some little-known varieties have become available.  Right now my favorite is the "Snowcap" and I am waiting for news that this year's crop has come in.

 

I like the Flagolet, the Moros and others but I really, really want some Snowcaps.

 

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Beans are good. This summer, I've been particularly into lentils because they cook so fast. In particular, when it's hot I like a salad made from the French green lentils that hold their shape (like this one or this one), or an Indian dal with red lentils that collapse completely, served with rice (like this one; slow cooker version here). And at a Lebanese restaurant in the tiny burg of Cortland, NY (are you listening, @ElainaA?) I had a really nice lentil soup that warmed me up nicely before we headed into a very cold rink to watch a hockey game. To me, the dal and soup are the sorts of things that I like to make in large batches and freeze in individual or pairs of servings, to reheat for lunches and quick dinners later.

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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I like some beans, and I really like LePuy lentils, and I'll eat cannelloni beans if accompanied by things such as broccoli rabe, hot Italian sausage, and lots of grated cheese  mixed in with some pasta.  Chick peas are good as is hummus. And for a little while in the Phila So. Jersey there was available a whitebean and garlic dip also called a Tuscan white bean dip that was additive.  Unfortunately, like many a small business in the modern mega-conglomerate-international corporation world,they went out of business after a couple of years.  I won't eat baked beans, I don't dislike them, I simply won't eat them, although I understand there are occasions when they appear, the same way refried beans always turn up on plates along with the rice in Mexican restaurants..  I'll usually taste the refried beans , wonder what's so special about them, and not eat any more of them.. I absolutely hate, loathe, despise, abhor, and detest,  lima beans.  Nasty little green things.

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"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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1 hour ago, MelissaH said:

 And at a Lebanese restaurant in the tiny burg of Cortland, NY (are you listening, @ElainaA?) I had a really nice lentil soup that warmed me up nicely before we headed into a very cold rink to watch a hockey game. 

Pita Gourmet. I love it for lunch - we rarely go there for dinner. It was highly recommended to us many years ago by a good friend whose father, who was born and grew up in Lebanon, ate lunch there every day up to the day before he passed away at age 92. (He was always - up to that day-on his lunch break from work.)

 

Like @Lisa Shock  I dislike beans with pasta - it tastes sort of redundant to me. 

 

@Anna N  You have no more reason to feel bad about disliking beans than I do for my dislike of brussels sprouts and anchovies. And if you really think you need intervention consider the advice of my favorite  t-shirt " Gardening - it's cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes." And  you only grow things YOU like. 

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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22 hours ago, liuzhou said:

While I don't actively dislike beans, with a few exceptions I wouldn't care if I never ate them again.

 

Exceptions:

 

chickpeas/garbanzos especially in lamb, mint and chickpea casserole. And, of course, hummus. 

 

lentils, I love

 

when I was a kid canned butter beans were a regular "vegetable" side with many meals. I haven't eaten them for over 40 years, but would like a try.

 

Me too! Love chickpeas and lentils! And fava beans fresh and dried. @Anna N, have you ever tried deep fried dry favas? It's a snack where I grew up. As well as chickpeas cooked under ash.

 

About beans, except for the giant corona beans, eaten in salad with good quality under oil tuna and red onions, I cannot care less. I tried only 1 time Rancho Gordo and the bells didn't sing for me.

 

 

 

10 hours ago, shain said:

 I like mine fully cooked - meltingly tender and creamy. I also don't really care for cold beans of any kind.

My favorite dishes are probably hummus (obviously), pasta e fagioli

 

I always find fascinating how different we are from each other. Mors tua vita mea. I think I must be starving to eat pasta e fagioli, when was on the menu in my paternal house (and it's my sister specialty) I would find something else to eat :laugh:

Edited by Franci (log)
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I like beans, generally.  But I dislike certain preparations.  I don't care for the 3-bean salad you find at every potluck, lentil soup & lentil salad or any other kind of cold vinegary bean dish.  Sweet red (adzuki) bean soup - just GAK!  I will eat these dishes, but won't really enjoy them.  On the other hand, two thumbs up for red bean paste, other bean soups (especially navy bean and split pea), edamames, and Puy lentils.....  

 

 

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I once lived in a housing coop where we shared cooking duties in the well- equipped industrial kitchen.  We quickly learned which cooks were better than others.

 

One guy was absolutely infatuated with garbanzo beans and we had them in every possible permutation during his rotation.  Garbanzo loaf, garbanzo soup, garbanzo salad, garbanzo casserole...

 

it it was decades before I could look at one without feeling queasy and even today, 40 years later, cannot eat them whole.

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The range of responses to various legumes is amazing, and my own likes and dislikes are just as quirky, or maybe more quirky. 

 

Lentils:  Let's start with the thing I really like the least: standard brown ones. Those little green French puy are better. Red lentils and teensy black lentils can make a yummy soup given the rest of the ingredients have strong flavors.

 

Garbanzos: I adore home-made hummus. Also like falafel, if it's done right. But garbanzos in soups or salads? Nope. Any soup calling for garbanzos I usually just sub some other bean, or leave them out. Fresh fava beans I DO like in a salad, especially with tomato and a sprinkle of pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil.

 

Edamame: fresh or fresh frozen, I love them: in the pod, salted, or tossed shelled into soups or grain salads or fried rice. If you are sick and craving chicken soup it gives you something green to add, straight from the freezer. Dried soy beans in anything any way? Yech.

 

All other beans: wow I'm so picky I can't justify it. I lived in NM for many years, and if I never eat another pinto bean I won't be sorry. But the cousin of the pinto, the Rattlesnake bean, is my favorite bean on earth; I make a big pot using ham stock or smoked turkey stock and always add some form of chile. It never fails to make me happy served over white rice. I like a good dish of red beans and rice, but not all red beans are equal. My favorites are the dark red organic beans from Purcell Farms, also my source for Rattlesnakes. I like black beans, but usually people undercook them. I don't like them, or most other beans, in salads.

 

My favorite beans from Rancho Gordo:  Yellow Indian Woman, Marcella, Good Mother Stallard. Too bad, all three are sold out right now.

 

Biggest turn-offs: beans paired in any way with seafood. 

 

Beans that should be great but rarely are: various kinds of baked beans. For years I've collected recipes for baked beans and pretended I am going to rise to the challenge but I just don't. The ingredients always sound so enticing: mustard, hickory, maple or cane syrup, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, bbq whatever, etc. Right?

 

Fresh shelling beans: Fresh black eyed peas are a treat, served as Hoppin' John or served warm over sliced heirloom tomatoes with lots of crunchy salt and olive oil (and bacon never hurts). Not so fun to shell, but some children with long attention spans are very good at it.  A developmental task for sure, and there's a  small window.  Another great fresh bean is the butter bean, but rarely available in these parts. There used to be an older fellow who sold fresh eggs and butter beans in season, and he would even have bags of them already shelled. I loved him. Sadly he has been gone from the Berkeley Farmers Market for years. There are a number of fresh beans (cranberry is only one) that can be had this time of year. I love to bake them in the oven in a bath of olive oil, some chopped tomato and onions and thyme. And I'm sure I would be very happy with whatever Professional Hobbit wants to do with them next weekend.

 

But enough about me. Anna, I would be so happy to invite you over for some beans (and back-up dishes) if you lived within 2,000 miles of me here in CA, but being ho hum about beans isn't anything to lose sleep over. And I have a confession to make (yes, okay back to me again) : beans have never totally agreed with me, so before I retired I kind of avoided them for the most part. Now I really find them satisfying, although I only partly subscribe to RG's philosophy that the more you eat, etc.

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Fresh frozen purple hull peas are mealy, and don't live up to my memory of 41 years ago of picking pods in a field, bringing them home, shelling, cooking and eating them on the same day. Perhaps the memory is faulty on the variety (perhaps they were crowders, another similar-looking relative of the more common black eye)? I believe I saw some crowders in the freezer case last time, so these are on my grocery list. Or perhaps there's just no substitute for freshly harvested and cooked shelly beans? This is what my grandma called them.

 

I do like the traditional three bean salad, although, fresh wax beans are not available here commercially, to my knowledge. I did find a bag of frozen at Trader Joes one time. These were an improvement over the canned, which are very hard to find here too. Unless you grow them yourself or know a generous person that does, you're generally out of luck on the fresh variety. I used to grow them, and three bean salad was my favorite way to serve them. 

 

This salad even tastes good several days later, but the olive drab color the acid from the vinegar component inflicts on the bright green beans is off-putting. There's information on eG that boiling the green beans with baking soda will preserve their bright color at least long enough to offer the salad at a family and friends potluck or church buffet. I intend to try it. My go to recipe just has green and yellow wax beans with red kidney beans for the bean component. There are many variations.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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On ‎9‎/‎18‎/‎2016 at 2:15 PM, Arey said:

I absolutely hate, loathe, despise, abhor, and detest,  lima beans.  Nasty little green things.

Not even fresh ones from your part of the state?  John said the same thing until I cooked him some fresh ones while we were down in the Crest....now he likes them.  Same thing with fresh English peas.....

You could head down to West Cape May this weekend as it is the Lima Bean Festival this Saturday.

 

 

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

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1 hour ago, suzilightning said:

Not even fresh ones from your part of the state?  John said the same thing until I cooked him some fresh ones while we were down in the Crest....now he likes them.  Same thing with fresh English peas.....

You could head down to West Cape May this weekend as it is the Lima Bean Festival this Saturday.

 

 

Sorry. Attending the lima bean festival is on my bucket list of 100 things not to do.  It's between "have another root canal" and "get food poisoning again".

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"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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I can't stand green limas but I love butter beans, dried, simmered for long enough that the skins are tender and the inside is like butter.

Cooked with smoked ham hocks, or the bone from a ham - or I have even cooked them with a smoked turkey leg.

 

Cornbread is a must but I can also "tolerate" a crusty rustic loaf of wheat bread.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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A few years ago, I bought Molly Steven's "All about Braising".  It includes a recipe for those last of harvest long green beans.  I never knew what to do with those since they seemed so tough.  Well, I have to tell you that braising them in her tomato sauce flavored with anchovy ( which lends a lovely bass note) is the way to go!

 

Fall isn't fall until I make at least one batch of them.  They never make it to the plate- I eat them right out of the skillet!

 

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23 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

Fresh frozen purple hull peas are mealy, and don't live up to my memory of 41 years ago of picking pods in a field, bringing them home, shelling, cooking and eating them on the same day. Perhaps the memory is faulty on the variety (perhaps they were crowders, another similar-looking relative of the more common black eye)? I believe I saw some crowders in the freezer case last time, so these are on my grocery list. Or perhaps there's just no substitute for freshly harvested and cooked shelly beans? This is what my grandma called them.

 

I do like the traditional three bean salad, although, fresh wax beans are not available here commercially, to my knowledge. I did find a bag of frozen at Trader Joes one time. These were an improvement over the canned, which are very hard to find here too. Unless you grow them yourself or know a generous person that does, you're generally out of luck on the fresh variety. I used to grow them, and three bean salad was my favorite way to serve them. 

 

This salad even tastes good several days later, but the olive drab color the acid from the vinegar component inflicts on the bright green beans is off-putting. There's information on eG that boiling the green beans with baking soda will preserve their bright color at least long enough to offer the salad at a family and friends potluck or church buffet. I intend to try it. My go to recipe just has green and yellow wax beans with red kidney beans for the bean component. There are many variations.

 

I guess it's just me, but I've never found purple hulls to be mealy. I freeze LOTS of purple hulls when they're in season to eat all winter; I love 'em topped with a spoonful of ripe tomato relish and a big wedge of hot cornbread with butter. Don't much care if I eat anything else.

 

But if I had to name one bean I'd take with me to that proverbial desert island, it'd be the navy bean, which I would soak and then braise with a ham hock or some other permutation of smoked pork. I could come real close to living on that. With cornbread.

 

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16 hours ago, Arey said:

Sorry. Attending the lima bean festival is on my bucket list of 100 things not to do.  It's between "have another root canal" and "get food poisoning again".

 

Arey, you hit my funnybone again. xD

 

Lots of folks hate limas. I'm glad my husband loved them as I do.

> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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