okrablossom: jasmine tea blossom open in mug (tea blossom)

I had thought I was going to end my little miniseries with a short tale—I slow-cooked up a cup of Bob's Red Mill dried lima beans with a heaping teaspoon of veggie Better than Bouillon and enough water to cover the beans by a bit, which turned out absolutely wonderful—but the library provided me with Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook which happily has an entire chapter called "The New-Fashioned Bean Pot".

I enjoyed the intro to the bean pot chapter. Although I totally agree with the authors that you can cook beans on high in the crock, I flipped unseeingly past all the tables telling me how long to cook per type of bean; I just haven't found them to be that variable. I would have liked a little more variability in the recipes, though. There were two basic beans+herbs [which I am not knocking, I appreciated them very much] and then a lot of refritos recipes, 3 variations on Boston Baked Beans, and a lot of ones that called for a bunch of meat or were sort of more meals than just baked beans, if that makes any sense.

I looked through all the recipes and decided, based on what I had in the house and that I wanted to cook something right now that I'd try the second-most-basic recipe listed: Basic Savory Beans. Of course, I cut it down to about a cup of beans, from the recipe's pound, worried I might not like it. I ended up leaving out the cumin, since it's been making me nauseous recently, but the garlic, 2 bay leaves, ground coriander and oregano, and onion went in with black beans, more veggie Better than Bouillon, and water to cover.

Turns out I love bay leaf beans.

I do have qualms about eating black onions, though, which apparently is silly, but I polished off this batch with my eyes closed and my nostrils open and enjoyed it. There will be more bay leaf beans in my future.

I hope to get some dried anchos soon and try the pinto bean recipe. I'm really regretting the snow is keeping me from my sage plant [among other things] so I can't try the Tuscan baked beans. Perhaps I will have to continue my completely unriveting and un-cliff-hanging series.

okrablossom: ice tea with lemons (pic#8749664)

Week two beans actually started off as a disaster. I searched high and low through Bean By Bean assuming there would be a baked bean recipe but they were all "meatist," as Dragonwagon says, and I have no bacon at the moment. So I tried it without and put the crock heat too low. Disaster.

So I had to try again. I settled on Slow Cooker Vegetarian Boston Baked Beans from The Lemon Bowl. And they turned out wonderfully.

I agree with the recipe author that it's the paprika that makes a difference. Usually I can't tell, with that particular spice, but oh here it is amazing.

I didn't soak the beans overnight—I'm too lazy—and I did have to cook them on High for nearly 8 hours, I'm guessing because of the ketchup. But still, it amounted to: throw stuff in crock and then get amazing beans.

baked beans, corn muffin, Julia salad
okrablossom: (pic#)

I rather love baked beans and since beans are my go-to for lunches, I decided to have a little bean-off, if you'll excuse the terrible expression.

This week's beans are from Simply Recipes, their Slow-Cooked Boston Baked Beans. I scaled down the recipe and had a little trouble with too little liquid as I cooked it. [I've never had a slow-cooker begin to dry out before.] At least for my crocks, the liquid level needs to cover the beans at the beginning.

The beans themselves, after I cooked them forever, were excellent. They are on the savory side, rather than the sweet, but not too much of either type of flavor to really win out.

Today I ate them with kabocha-corn muffins.

kabocha corn muffins

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okrablossom

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