Friday, February 11, 2011

Bean week in the Brown house

Winter is the season when I most enjoy eating beans and when I saw our home-grown kidney and pinto beans in jars on my kitchen counter, I knew this was the week.

I started on Sunday when I indulged in one of my favorite kinds of meals—Italian. I prepared spinach and cheese manicotti with tomato sauce, meatballs, roasted Cushaw and pasta e fagioli soup. The soup is a Giada de Laurentis recipe that I hadn’t tried and the combination of pasta and beans with our homegrown kidney beans was fabulous. Of course since it’s February I didn’t have fresh herbs, but it still turned out so well that Jim rated it a “10” without even being asked. We also had leftovers to carry us over into the week, one of the benefits of a big Sunday afternoon meal.

By the time Thursday arrived, we had exhausted our leftovers and other easy-to-prepare meals so Jim made pinto beans. Jim is the pinto bean king. I will admit I had never eaten pinto beans until I moved to Kentucky and I do love the protein-packed soup with corn bread. I tried a new corn bread recipe (from Hindman Settlement School in eastern Kentucky) and it proved to be moist and perfect to accompany the beans.

Now we’ve used all of the beans we grew last year. This year I’ll plant many more so the joy doesn’t end so early.

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