white beans

At least the beans were white when they started out. Small beans. But then add ham hoc, molasses, a gigantic purple onion, garlic, marjoram, salt and pepper and chile flakes and the beans goes all color changey on you.



This is a pressure cooker experiment. Ham hoc went into the pot frozen hard as, um, ice. Harder than that. Believe me, you can read the pressure cooker book and still be left to your own estimation. There's an elevation marker on the Capitol steps a few blocks from my apartment that reads "one mile above sea level." That throws off everything pressure-wise into a whole new algorithm so that you're left with intuition to sort it all.  I figured an hour + 10 min. or so and that worked beautifully. The beans were cooked separately and were a whole 'nother round of guessing.

Taster's plate, because we had to check on progress. By we I mean a friend and myself.



Guessed wrongly. Too tough. Back to the pressure cooker then for the punishing duration of 5 minutes! Plus depressurization time. But we're just getting started with this whole thing anyway. As you probably know by now, when it comes to beans, acid must be held off until the last addition, for that reason, the tomatoes are reserved. Plus some other finishing herbs. Plus the rice is yet to be cooked.

Nutritionists tell us beans plus rice provide the perfect protein -- Okay fine! A nutritionist told me -- Or perfect protein precursors or something. And I believe them for they are always right on matters alimentary. Even when they change their mind then I change my mind too in order to stay in accordance. And when they change back then I change back too, that's just how intellectually flexible I am sometimes when it's worth it. But mostly I agree with the rice-bean protein theory because it is delicious and so are leftovers. Let's not call them leftovers. Let's call them reheats, or carry forwards, little bonanzas resulting from our tendencies to plan and so obviating the immediate need to go hunt something down and kill it and then deal with it immediately, or to forage around until you find something edible? Fine, whatever you say. Leftovers.



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