My family likes to eat things like chili, refried beans and baked beans. But dry beans are not my favorite things to cook with. I never seem to be able to get them cooked right no matter how long I cook them. They never get soft enough no matter how long I cook them. So it’s always been easier to just buy the canned stuff.
It’s hard to miss the fact that the price of everything is increasing. We’ve noticed about a 10% increase in our shopping bill over the last couple of weeks. For a large family on a tight budget, this means cutting costs where ever we can. Taking a hard look at things, we decided that we’d try to prepare our own chili and such.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t too thrilled with the idea, but we do what we need to do, right? GadgetMan brought me home a huge bag of dried pinto beans, and the experiment began. I tried plain beans with okay success. The beans are actually soft enough for once…but plain beans aren’t the best when you’re bean challenged like me. The first attempt at refried beans was okay also. The recipe I found wasn’t the best, but everyone ate it so I guess that was passable. The second recipe I found was much better. The chili was kind of a disappointment. It was so bland that I think it’d be ashamed to call itself chili. Pinto beans don’t really taste the best for chili either…at least in my family’s opinion. The baked beans was a little bit better. Again pinto beans aren’t the best and GadgetMan feels there needs to be more “sweet”, but I think it wasn’t too bad.
Not the best of results for this experiment, but as with anything in cooking, time and practice will create improvements.