Sustainability!

Almost.   My son and I prepared our first batch of black beans for dinner.   We followed the traditional method of soaking before cooking.   Actually, we boiled them for 2 minutes first, and then soaked them for about six hours.   And if we hadn’t been so excited about cooking our first batch of beans, we would have realized our mistake.

“We need one cup of beans,” I told him, to which he vigorously responded by dumping the entire container of beans into the measuring cup.   “No, no!” I exclaimed as beans scattered across the floor.   “Make a funnel with your hands, like this–” whereby I demonstrated how to guide the beans into the awaiting cup.

He dipped his head into the container with the remaining beans, peering at them closely.  “What do we do with these?”

Spying the small amount, I decided, “Aw…go ahead and add them.   We can put more water in the pot, no problem!”

We were so excited at the prospect of preparing our own garden’s beans for dinner, we thought of nothing else as we turned up the heat and watched our babies come to a boil.

“Do we have to have chicken, Mom?”

I gazed down into my seven-year-old’s eyes, eyes flowing with disappointment and replied,  “But you love chicken and yellow rice with black beans.”   (It really is delicious — see for yourself on my recipe section)  “It’s one of your favorites.”

“No,” he shook his head.   “I don’t like chicken anymore.  Or yellow rice.”   He made a so-so gesture with his hand.  “I kinda prefer white.”

“Anymore?  Since when?  Thursday?”   (I swear, my kids are more finnicky than cats.)

“Since whenever,” he said, as though I were unable to comprehend this simple concept.

Suddenly, caught between his changing appetite and the likelihood of whether or not I had white rice in the pantry, it dawned on me as I stared at the pot of boiling beans.  “Oh no!”   

Alarmed, he asked, “What happened, Mom?”

I turned to him and couldn’t help but laugh.  “We forgot to save some beans!”

“So?  It’s okay.  We can eat them all tonight.”  (Sweet love child that he is, he doesn’t like it when I’m upset.   Unless of course, he’s the cause.

“No, baby.”  I shook my head and smiled.  “We forgot to save some for re-planting in the garden.”

Apprehension lit up in his eyes.  “Oh…”  he said.  His gaze flashed to the hot pot of beans.   “What will we do?”

In the old days, this is where the black and white movie takes a horribly sad turn.   Uncle Ed and Aunt Mary are forlorn.  No beans to plant?  Ethel May is stricken.    What ever will we do?

Nowadays?  We go online and order more beans!  That’s what we do.

And be grateful for the ability.  A mistake like this on the prairie could have jeopardized the family’s survival, but not today, so if you’re like me and LOVE black beans, hurry!  Now is the time for planting.  Black beans are easy to grow, easy to harvest and easy to shell.  Why, even a kid could do it!  (And does, in our family.)  Beans are one of the easiest plants to sustain in your garden, so long as you remember your goal of sustainability and save some for the dirt!

p.s.  I would have taken pictures of our lovely batch of beans, but we were much too excited to even think of a photo shoot.