Friday, April 29, 2011

Midnight Bean Soup

So... I was up all night cleaning cupboards last night.

And what does this have to do with soup?

Well, because of Heather's "persistent suggestions" (i.e., bugging, pestering, nagging) to get a blog going, and because the soup turned out pretty good, I thought I'd blog this so you could see what the Cat dragged out of the cupboards and into the kitchen today.

This is what I've gathered up so far for the thrift shop (or "boutique" depending on where you live in the U.S.).  Three bags of stuff, and three boxes.  Now I just have to figure out where to keep it until I can get down to a thrift shop in Colorado again, or whether I can try to cram it into everything else that I need to do tomorrow.  Or... ????

And this is what our "Cove" looks like now that it's organized.  It got the name "The Cove" because it's on the north and coldest side of the house.  At Christmas time when I do a lot of baking, I can either store baked goods in "The Cove" or on a baker's rack in the garage.  Sometimes we all it the "Cookie Cove," but most often just "The Cove."

AND I also even have nearly a whole half side of the bottom cabinet in my hutch emptied!  I thought I was going to store all my platters and large serving bowls in the hutch, but decided it would be easier to access them from The Cove.  So, I had to organize The Cove to make room for them all.

I don't know why I had so much energy for staying up so late working on cleaning cabinets, but now I'm eager to tackle some other areas of the house the next time I do this "late thing".

At any rate, about 1 a.m. I started thinking, "If I start some beans tonight in the crock pot, it will be done for lunch tomorrow." 

1:00 a.m. I was up chopping an onion, cleaning beans, and popping everything into a crock pot to make bean soup.  It doesn't take long at all to prepare, as long as the country style pork ribs are already defrosted.

Then, I don't know what possessed me, but I went through my collection of cookie molds to see how many duplicates I have ended up with over the past year or so. 

These molds are for shortbread cookies - some from Pampered Chef, some from Brown Bag, and some other miscellaneous molds - most all of them I've found at thrift shops.  Some gifts, some purchased online.  But most at thrift shops. 

Maybe another day I'll show you photos of all the molds.  Maybe someday when I get around to actually making cookies again with the molds. 

Anyway, I got them all sorted and discovered that I really have duplicates of only two types - all Pampered Chef.  One is a heart mold (I have two of the same), and the other is a bear (I have three of the same -  three different shades of stoneware... seems kind of odd to me).

I was going to make a list, but sleep started to come over me once I sat down, so that will have to wait a while.

Finally getting to bed at about 2 a.m., I then woke up at 9 a.m. when I heard a text message come in on my phone.  My husband Phil texted me to see if I was up yet.  Between that and the smell of the beans cooking, I decided I'd better get up, especially because I kept lying in bed thinking, "That doesn't smell right."  So, I got out of bed to check the seasoning.

Taste.  More salt.  Thought about it... decided to add a little cumin and chili seasoning.  Cooked two more hours in the crock pot.  Taste.  Still not right.  Added a little more salt and some Bouquet Garni.  Cooked another hour or so.  Taste.  Perfect!  Though, I'm not sure I could re-create the seasoning to be the same next time, I thought I'd better blog this so I'll remember what I did. 

It actually tasted really very good, even though the beans were supposed to come out like refried beans, I think, from the recipe and description that my hair stylist gave to me; mine came out like soup.  So, if yours come out like refried beans, maybe you can just add more water in a big soup pot.  :-)

So, here's a shopping list:

3 country style pork ribs
1-1/2 lb. pinto beans, dry (bought in bulk - rinse well and remove icky pieces)
1 sweet onion, small dice
About 14 cups water (to come near to top of crock pot)
2-3 Tbsp. salt (add a little at first and then adjust to preference later)
1 Tbsp. Cumin
2 Tbsp. Chili Seasoning (Penzey's, with oregano in it - it has a medium kick)
1 Tbsp. Bouquet Garni


Place ribs on bottom of crock pot; toss in diced onion, sprinkle with seasonings.  Add dry pinto beans over all.  Pour in water.  Set crock pot on high and go to bed.  Cook for nine hours and adjust seasonings as needed.  Continue cooking until you think you're ready to turn off crock pot to enjoy the soup.  Maybe with tortilla chips.  :-)

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