Monday, March 12, 2012

Magic Beans

I have been converted to the magic of beans! NOT that kind of magic...
Let me start at the beginning.
I was shopping at a specialty food store and ran across a jar of marinated beans. These weren't just any kind of beans but GIANT white beans. Beans the size of oysters. Beans so big there were only room for a dozen of them in the jar.

Giant White
I knew instantly I wanted to grow some of those.
I searched high and low for a seed source for these gigantic white beans but couldn't find any. Then I came across Purcell Mountain Farms website with lots of dried beans for eating. Lo and behold they had the Gigantic White Beans by the pound.
Black Valentine

Christmas Lima

Grey Raquel

Jackson Wonder

Swedish Brown

Marrow Bean

The web site stated that all beans would sprout. If they will sprout, I reasoned, they would grow. I started out just ordering the white beans but after reading the long lists of amazing and heretofore unheard of beans, I ended up buying twenty pounds of different kinds of beans.

I thought I could eat most of them and save a few of each type to try growing this summer.

I cut envelopes in half and put in a couple dozen of each type of bean.
Before I received my big box of beans, I had really only cooked three or four kinds of beans. I hadn't really thought much about beans as a flavor. To me beans were just the same flavor in different colored jackets. Until I tasted these beans. I had never known beans before with such hearty and amazing flavors. They really take center stage in a dish.
Christmas Lima beans with lamb and homemade bread.
Coinciding with my acquisition of these magical beans was my discovery of the joys of cooking in my Dutch Oven.
I had started cooking dinners in a Dutch Oven by browning the ingredients in the Dutch Oven on the stove top, then adding stock and popping it in the oven at 350 degrees to cook for the afternoon. No more stirring or burned bottoms. The food has the most delicious flavor I've never gotten on the stove top or slow cooker. And it's in the oven, ready and waiting for us when we come in from a hard days work. The perfect meal.
These are the Giant White beans after they have soaked over night.
Here are a few more meals I have cooked with my first order of beans.
Huevos Rancheros from the Black Valentine beans and Homestead eggs. Superb.

Home grown vegetable soup with Marrow beans. This soup was vegetarian, but the beans added a delicious bacon taste.
Jackson wonder beans in beef stock with slightly green tomatoes from the fall garden. That's blue corn bread made with blue corn meal on the right. The color is odd but the flavor is light years better than yellow corn meal.
I have just put my second order in... 14 more kinds. Yum!


  1. Wow, those giant white beans look sooooo neat! Wouldn't just a handful of those look wonderful and kind'a funny on a plate?

  2. Are these beans also the musical fruit?

  3. I add ground caraway to the beans when cooking them.
    Seems to help me, no music.


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