Beans Before Beads

Our friend and neighbor Shirlee has had her three grandsons staying with her for about a month. We really like the boys, and will miss them when they go back to Arizona this weekend, so we're having a little going away party for them on Friday night. The only question is, what to feed them? I hear them talk a lot about how much they love meat, and obviously they aren't going to get that here. Still, I want my guests to be well fed and happy. My solution? Trick them!

I'm going to serve Smart Dogs, corn on the cob, Kaleslaw (for the adults, I'll bet), and Sweet Black Beans. The trickiest part is, I'm not going to eat a Smart Dog until they're done, because I want them to think they're "real" hot dogs. I'm pretty sure I can fool them. I once fed Smart Dogs to a friend who used to be a butcher, and he thought he was eating meat! Tee hee! So shhhhhh! Don't tell them what I'm up to. What a wicked girl I am, getting kids to eat healthy food and like it too.

The Sweet Black Beans were inspired by the weird canned pork-n-beans I used to love as a kid. I made a test batch the other day, and mine are way better than the canned version. I hope the kids like them. I like to cook dry beans most of the time, because canned foods have a plastic lining that most often contains BPA. But cooking beans is simple! I sort through them for things that don't belong there, and soak them overnight. Next morning I rinse them well, put them in a pot, covered with cold water, bring to a boil, and let them bubble away for about 5 minutes. Then I pour off that water and start over. This gets a lot of the "gas" out of the beans. 

Now I add some chopped onion and garlic, and salt and pepper to the cooking water. I cook them till they're tender, adding more water as I go if necessary. When they're done, I pour off any extra water. The sauce is basically ketchup (organic, of course!) and maple syrup, with sweet smoked paprika, a splash of tamari if you like, and extra salt and pepper to taste. That's it. The paprika is the secret ingredient that gives the beans that porky flavor. If the kids don't like these, I don't care! I know Rick and I will eat the whole pot! That's it for the beans. Time for beads!


These fit Troll Bracelets only.
$30 each
T1, T2, T3

These fit Troll Bracelets only.
$30 each
T4, T5, T6


These fit Pandora and Troll Bracelets.
$30 each
P1, P2, P3

These fit Pandora and Troll Bracelets.
$30 each
P4, P5, P6


  1. I cook my beans the same way (changing out the water often). I'm gonna try your recipe this weekend. Sounds really yummy!


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