Ahh, the weekend is here again! The week seemed to fly by.
Yesterday I was hungry for red beans and rice. In the south, when the cool weather starts up we eagerly watch the weather so we can get a gumbo going or red beans and rice, or basically anything that we can crank up the oven and cook. Until then, it's too darn hot to start the oven!
Seriously. We are 20 degrees warmer today than just 2 days ago. 20 DEGREES! Insane. This IS November. I hope we are not opening Cmas presents with the AC on this year.
So when I realized it was damp and chilly out yesterday, I dug in the freezer for some beans. I only found a ziplock of beans my grandmother had given me. Large red beans. Blah! I prefer the smaller ones. But my craving for beans was strong and I figured if I cooked them long enough SURELY they would get soft like the small ones. I may have to mash and mash.. but it would be okay. I was hungree for red beans and nothing was gonna stop me now. I was on a red bean mission.
Hmm... dried beans. It's 9 am, want them for supper, they need to soak a few hours and then cook for a few hours.. (doing math in head) Not enough time to cook them in the crockpot.
Popped into the internet - what did we do before the internet?? - and found oodles of recipes. I did a quick boil method (bring to a boil for 3 minutes, removed from heat and then cover for an hour). After the hour, I drained the water.. filled with fresh water and let it sit.
Around 5 p.m. I checked the water level making sure it was at least 2 inches above the beans, brought them to a boil, clamped on the lid and let it rip! In the meantime, I chopped the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Twenty-five minutes later... BEANS! And gobs and gobs of gravy! Reduced to a simmer, tossed in my veggies and seasonings. Browned some sliced sausage in the skillet (we like it browned, but you can toss it in there like that). Added sausage to pot o' beans. Stirred, tasted, seasoned. Cooked rice.
In under an hour I had the whole thing done! And it made the BEST gravy! Thick and yummy. The beans were all soft. This may just be how I cook them from now on. The kids all had two bowls each. YUMMY.
Is it lunch time yet???
Earlier this week Rich got a surprise in the mail. He knew it was coming, just wasn't sure when.
This is what we ordered. You can read about it here: