Crockpot Bean Soup was on the menu for this week. It was my first foray into all that alone. Growing up, beans & cornbread were a staple food during the winter. I don't remember Mama doing them in the crockpot, though. They were always in a pot on the stove or even, a few times, on our wood stove! They were so very creamy and yummy.
Not being able to call Mama to ask how she did things or her opinion on how to cook things is so frustrating sometimes! So, I googled it, of course. One of the lessons that I learned was that even if the recipe has great reviews, it's not necessarily going to work. Oh yeah.
Thankfully, one of the reviews on the recipe mentioned soaking the beans overnight. Ding! That was a memory jogger. I remember soaking the beans overnight before we cooked them. Well, that knocked the beans back a day. Ok. I can be flexible. Really.
The beans soaked, and then I put them in the crockpot, covered them with chicken stock, threw in a couple of bay leaves and turned them on high for two hours. That's what the recipe said to do. At two hours, I checked on them, added water to cover the beans, and turned the crockpot down to low for three hours. That's what the recipe said to do. I'm really good at following directions...not as good as I used to be, but still pretty good. :-)
It didn't cross my mind to check on the status of the beans before I started my rice and got my kielbasa in the skillet. Rice was ready, kielbasa nicely browned, taste the beans. You know, crunchy beans are NOT a pleasant experience for the palate! All of that to say, the bean soup was knocked back another day, and we had kielbasa and rice for dinner that night.
I turned the crockpot on low and cooked the bean soup until lunch the next day. It worked! Granted, the darn things cooked for nearly 24 hours. If they hadn't been done by then, I think they would have gone in the compost, and I would have chalked it all up to an interesting experience and moved onward and forward! (After thinking about it, I had received the bean soup mix from Luke for Christmas when I had him in Kindergarten Children's Choir at church...He just became an Eagle Scout this fall. Wow. Beans do last forever!)
My next hurdle was W. AB had already had lentil soup that my sister made and loved it. I wasn't worried about her. She still eats just about anything. W, on the other hand, is nearly three and particular about what he eats. Bless. his. heart. (Yes, I am from the South, and I can say that with the full weight that goes behind it.) I was so very pleasantly surprised when he took his first bite...and subsequent ones thereafter! Here's what I heard repeatedly as he ate three bowls of the bean soup: "I LIKE beans, Mommy! Thank you for putting them in my soup!" I about fell out of my chair. Woohoo!
I'll do bean soup again this winter. Really, I will...but probably not every week. :-)