We store canned beans against emergencies and use them up within the year, at the rate of one to two cans per week. We pick organic and Northwest labels. Ideas: Garbanzo and salad beans – cold in salads. Garbanzo and northern beans – pureed with garlic for a spread. Pinto and black beans – added to sauteed onions, mashed for a side dish. Lentils – added to sauteed onions, add 1/2 Tbs. garam masala, side dish for Indian spiced dinner. Northern beans – with sauteed onion and pork in soup or stew. Winter dish! (Monica Downen of Monica’s Waterfront Bakery and Cafe makes a great version of this). Kidney beans, red beans – beans and rice. Red beans, northern beans, garbanzo beans – with pasta in a soup. … Continue reading

Baked beans

Take this one to your next potluck and listen to people say “No way these are canned beans!” The secret is in the bacon – start with bacon from one of our local farmers. Too good! Prep: One medium red onion – chop. Bacon: Cut bacon into small pieces. Saute in dutch oven or other oven safe pot until they’re soft. Keep the rendered fat! This is your delicious secret ingredient. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes. Deglaze: Add 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar. Then add 1/4 cup maple syrup or brown sugar, 1 tbs dry mustard, and salt to taste. Add 2 cans of great northern or other white beans. Simmer or bake: Keep on a back burner and simmer on low for 2 hours, stirring to keep from sticking. Or, pop the dutch oven in the oven and bake at 350′ for two hours. Or, … Continue reading

Food storage and Great Northern Bean Hummus

Last January I started a food storage program for a group I help to organize (it’s in Pierce County and not food related so off topic here). I buy bulk items like rice, beans, and flour, then sell them to group members at a per pound or per unit cost, absorbing the cost of transport and containers as a donation. This lets people dip their toes into food storage without having to make a huge investment. Whatever I don’t sell goes into my pantry to bulk up my own emergency prep stores. We have a once-a-month distribution with themes. February was Emergency Preparation Month. Shannon Harkness talked about this in her blog last week, the subject is coming up in her classes, as the emergency in Japan turns people’s thoughts to contemplating whether we are adequately prepared. As part of the Emergency Prep theme I handed out FEMA printouts and … Continue reading

New Year Bean Soup

The Mt. Walker Farms ham bone from Christmas dinner was still in the refrigerator. I figured I’d better use it up. Last night I cut off the pieces that would come off and used them in a stir-fry. I also soaked some white beans (Great Northerns picked up from Hunter Farms last year). This morning I made a soup with the beans and the ham bone. After a couple of hours of simmering I went to put it up, and tasted it to see if it needed salt. Nope, no salt needed, and it was so good I immediately sat down and ate a bowl. I called Alex and Ted and they sat down and ate a bowl on the spot. I froze another couple of pints for lunches. I learned this as a southern thing but I know many cultures have beans at New Year for good luck. New … Continue reading