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Dry beans (Recipe: everything-from-the-pantry bean soup)


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And for those of us who can't quite recognize what's in the jars, it's handy to cut out a label to put in the jar with the product. Sometimes instructions can be kept that way too -just how much water do you use with that particular rice? or do you add an egg to that pancacke mix or just water?

My glass jars full of beans look so pretty on an open kitchen shelf.
Grocery store beans are not always the freshest. For a good source of this year's dried beans, try Indian Harvest: (www.indianharvest.com). Several seed catalogues also feature dried beans for eating: Wood Prairie Farm in Maine (www.woodprairie.com) sells their organic two pound bags..with recipes! Native Seeds/Search at (www.nativeseeds.org) carries several varieties of beans, specializing in Native American and Hispanic beans which have been grown for centuries in New Mexico and Arizona.

Marcia, thanks so much for these wonderful sources! The best dry beans I ever bought were from a roadside stand on the way to Taos, New Mexico. Anyone else have a great source?

Hi! I just caught up on the "Perfect Pantry" articles that were put on "hold". What a delightful couple of hours browsing through all the good food and recipes. I was hoping to see some of the decorated cookies, maybe you're saving them for another time????? Now that I'm back I'll be sure to keep in touch. Thanks for your good wishes.

Welcome back, Pauline. I'll be posting cookie photos on the web site (http://www.ninecooks.com/dropin.html) within the next week, so stay tuned.....

Thanks so much to Marcia for posting the link to nativeseeds.org. After I read this, I immediately went to the site and purchased beans, smoked chiles and a Chocolate Habanero Sauce that sounds wonderful! Can't wait to make this soup.

I, too, am a decanter, Lydia. It stems from my years in living in downtown Madison — you wanted your food in air-tight jars so kitchen pests (a more palatable euphemism) could not get inside. I have tons of those glass jars with the rubber stoppers and flip-down lids. I went through a stage where I collected different beans because they looked good in the jars.

Mimi, I used to collect jars because they'd look good filled with beans, and I have tons of the jars with rubber rings and flip-down lids, too.

Elaine, I'm so glad you found good things at Native Seeds. Thanks again, Marcia.

The Bean Rhyme
The rhyme I learned (in the '40s) was "Beans, beans, the musical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot." We thought that was hilarious, but then we had a lot of time on our hands back then.

Karen, welcome to The Perfect Pantry. I learned that version, too, but as a kid I always found the "fruit" thing a bit confusing....! A little slow on the uptake, I guess!

The best road side bean stand I ever went to was in Dove Creek, CO just north of the NM border. Adobe Millings sells all kinds of great dried beans form its farm-to-market store, and they sell on line too, I think. (http://www.anasazibeans.com/). I always have a burlap sack or two hidden away in my pantry for cold nights and great ham hock and bean soup.

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