Friday, January 22, 2016

Weather Warnings, Shopping and Cooking Oddities

Well Winter Storm Jonas is in the news. Stock up on water and food, don't drive unless you have to, have your generator ready, don't overdo the snow know the drill.

It is being pounded into people's awareness until they almost become numb.

 This is our first major winter storm in Kentucky. It is kind of odd as we didn't need to do anything extra or special. We are set even if there is a major power failure, the woodshed is in good shape, the propane is fine, the livestock feed is stored safely in the dry secure utility building and our food stocks are, if not bulging with treats, in very good shape.
We have books and games and crafts to pass time with it being miserable outside and we can always go to the tobacco barn to chicken watch.

However habits are hard to break and TSC was having a sale so we did go to town. The road crews have done their job and the roads are salted. The day was nice with sunny breaks but you could feel the storm in the air...that strange expectancy weather has when something is brewing. We got the bins and containers we wanted, picked up some meat at the IGA and marveled at the difference in preparedness shopping here compared to Virginia.

Here people were buying canned goods, things that didn't need a lot of cooking or an oven, things that didn't need refrigeration.  This was so different than what we saw in Virginia. One young couple was talking about their supply of wood or how their new gas range had a battery igniter. (The young wife was so proud her husband had bought the stove for her Christmas present, exactly the one she wanted) One lady said she only had electric but her Amish neighbors had offered her a place to stay if power failed. Unlike the highly urban supermarkets we had been in last winter this store had shelves of perishables  that were full. The canned and dry goods shelves were low though. It was an interesting difference in approach.

We finished our shopping and headed home. A quick stop at the Amish Hardware to see if the axe we ordered for me was in ( wasn't) . Of course the axe purchase got Ralph teasing me about wanting this axe and then he told the Amish men at the store he had a bad back so I chopped the wood....but I didn't like his man sized double bitted axe!

Whe we got back to the farm we unloaded the car and did the chores. Then we went in for supper, I had left a pot of beans simmering on the stove and the house smelled really good. I whipped up some cornbread for Ralph to have with his beans. It's one of his favorite combinations. 
Now it gets odd....these beans had been soaked overnight and then simmered with molasses,  onions, bacon and spices, I have cooked beans like this hundreds of times before, as I said they are one of Ralph's favorite foods. The beans were still hard, more than AL dente....actually almost crunchy. failure! I have never had beans not soften up like these ones.

Well we had soup for supper and Ralph did enjoy his cornbread...I am not sure what I will do with the darned beans, they do taste good but they sure are hard.  An unusual end to a rather nice winter day. 

We are now cozy and snug in our little house in Kentucky,  just waiting to see what happens in the next few days.

Take care everyone and be safe and stay warm!


  1. I'm not sure this would work, but I have pressure canned beans that were hard and they came out soft. I canned pork and beans at 10 lbs pressure for my altitude and for 75 minutes for pints. Just a thought.

    1. I will try that next time I do these beans, I have 2 quarts of this mix in the store room. Thank you!

  2. Sometimes beans do that. I find that the organic beans that I buy have a tendency to stay hard....there is actually a name for that. HTC (hard to cook) or something. Pressure cooking should soften them, but sometimes, even that doesn't work.

  3. put them through the grinding mill.
    the ones you have already cooked--it will be messy but they should be more chewable if you cook them a second time.

    sometimes old beans need grinding to soften when cooked, but it is more like thick stew than soup. has to be stirred to keep from burning. if you don't mind the mess try it.

  4. Hope you stay warm & well fed through whatever mother nature throws your way!

    1. Okay Ralph got a bit carried away with heat and we opened the door for a bit! It is windy and snowing but not terribly cold. The ducks are out having snow baths!

  5. Like Tewshooz said, they are called hard to cook beans. I seem to pick those kind of beans all the time. It is becoming a tradition. haha

    Keep safe and warm.

  6. I'd vote for pressuring them, bring the pressure up and then maybe five or ten minutes under pressure if they are the hard to cook ones. If you have any of the beans left that you cooked, you might put in a glass or stainless bowl the right size to fit inside your pressure cooker, with a little water, if they need it, in the bowl. Make sure you have that insert on the bottom of the cooker, or the bowl will rattle around when the pressure builds up. Then put about a pint of water in the bottom of the cooker. This is how I cook rice in the pressure cooker. I cook beans in the cooker without using the bowl but I make sure I have more than ample water for them to soak up as they cook, and therefore not stick and burn. I've never had beans come out hard that way. They say if you cook them with salt, it'll happen. I wonder if the bacon was more salty than usual??