Monday, June 11, 2012

Frugal Large Family Cooking: Celebrating Beans Part I

If you are seeking to live a frugal lifestyle then you may  at some point consider adding beans to your meal plan. I have a love/hate relationship with beans. We have Beans, Rice & Cornbread every Wednesday night. Now that said Beans, Rice & Cornbread is only the tip of the pyramid of what you can do with beans. I hope this series of posts encourages you to incorporate more beans into your families diet.

This week  I just wanted to  provide a basic Bean recipe that you can use to make tasty beans for your family.

My Best Pinto Beans (adapted from the Hillybilly housewife)
 Serves about 14

  • 2 pound dry pinto beans, about 4 2/3 cups (apx. .44)
  • 16 cups water
  • 1 stick margarine or bacon or salt pork or 1/4 cup bacon grease (.23 for margarine)
  • 1 teaspoon salt ($neg.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper ($neg.)
  • Soak the beans in 2 quarts of cold water overnight, or in 2 quarts of boiling water for an hour or two. After soaking, or the next day, bring the beans to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat, so the beans merely simmer. Cover and simmer for half an hour. Then add the margarine or bacon, salt and pepper. Cover again and simmer for another 45 minutes to an hour. The beans should be tender and fragrant. Bite into one to see if it is cooked though. When they are tender, they are ready to serve.

    COST: .47 total less then .04 per person!

    Serve with cornbread

    This meal even with cornbread is going to be under a $1 for a large family! That is why I always try to serve it once a week.
    Keep in mind if you have an attitude of poverty deeply regretting the fact your family is eating beans  then your family will also. But if you set a beautiful table (just like the other nights of the week) and bring out your wonderful homemade beans & steaming fresh homemade cornbread they will know they are eating like kings!

    Now when you make beans, whether it's once a week or once a month, I would humbly suggest that you start making at least twice as many beans as  you need and freeze the rest. As the weeks go on and we explore many more bean recipes you will find many more uses for beans in your every day cooking!

    May God bless you and remember a prudent wife is a blessing!

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