Silly beans!

I have been cooking dried beans for YEARS now. I’ve made them on the stovetop, in a pressure cooker, and in the slow cooker. I’ve soaked and not soaked, simmered for hours, and boiled as quickly as I could. They always turn out just fine for our tastes. I had an issue once with a package of split peas, they refused to soften, but I don’t really like them anyway so I just used it as an excuse to toss them. That way I could tell my husband that I had tried to make them for him but it just wasn’t working:)

Two days ago I started a pound of beans in my slow cooker and went on about my business. I did some cleaning, sewing, and then sat down to watch some tv with my husband. Once I sat down I realized how incredibly tired I was and took a little nap snuggled up to my sweetie on the couch. He woke me up at five and I stumbled into the kitchen to throw the beans in a pot with some rice to finish them off, and they had doubled in size but were still hard as a rock. I quickly decided to throw together a quick pizza crust and use up some cheese and pepperoni that I had in the fridge.

Yesterday I took said beans out of the fridge and put them back in the slow cooker. Six hours later (on high) they still were too hard. They had softened some but not very much. I poured them into a pot and boiled them for three hours on top of the stove. They began to split, and the skins peeled off, but the beans were still hard! I have no idea what is going on! It makes no sense whatsoever. Hubby told me that he wasn’t sure he wanted too eat beans that wouldn’t soften after thirteen hours of cooking so I dumped them and he picked up Chinese on his way home from work. I know beans are cheap, so it’s not like I threw tons of money away, but I am perplexed! Sure wish I knew what in the world caused this bean problem…

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Menu planning

Many times in my married life I’ve sat down and made menu plans. For some reason I always get on them, do wonderfully, hit a snag, and give up. Unfortunately that’s been a resounding fact that applies to a lot of my life in general, try, succeed, hit snag, fail, give up. Not a good cycle! So, once again I’m back on a menu plan and I’m determined to make some changes!

My first change is the fact that I’m cutting myself some slack. Sure I WANT to be perfect, but that only lasts for so long and then it’s too much to handle. The second is that I’m throwing some cheat meals in the plan as well. No matter how good a meal sounds when you are making your plans, eventually there will be one day when you go to check your list and realize that the meal sounded great yesterday, the day before, and will probably sound good next week, but today it’s the last thing that you want to eat. That’s just life and what’s the point in planning if you don’t factor in the inconsistency of life? I am always prepared for days when what I have planned doesn’t sound good, for I prompts road trips on days when I have planned a seven course meal, and for those days when you just wake up wishing that you could stay in bed for the entire day.

I plan my menu, and then add a few “cheat meals”. They may be a quick meal that my daughter can make all by herself like spaghetti, a meal that Hubby would be more than happy to make like grilled burgers, or just something quick and easy like chili dogs. These cheat meals have been such a plan saver! I’ve never lasted more than two weeks on a strict menu plan, but with these cheat meals I am now finishing up month 2 of daily menu plans and loving it!

Stay tuned for menu planning 101 along with my personal menu plan:)