I started cooking years ago with bulk foods. I was a huge fan of vegetarian cookbook authors such as Laurel Robertson, Carol Flanders, Anna Thomas, and Nava Atlas. It took a while to get the hang of it – 1.75 cups of water to each cup of brown rice; for wheat berries and oat groats, just cover with water, cook & drain. Dry beans get covered with several inches of water, boil for a minute, sit for an hour, drain, cover with several inches of water, cook until done. Good beans cook to soft; stale beans will stay crunchy no matter how long you cut them.
It was a learning curve, but I didn’t have to throw out too many things as inedible. Some of it we preferred to never eat again, but most was good enough to at least eat.
My favorite boy toy and I eat eat vegetarian about half the time. I still buy a lot from the bulk food bins at our locally owned health food store. It’s cheaper and fresher and they’re good staples to have in the pantry “just in case”. A handful of lentils, some dehydrated zucchini from our garden, a can of tomatoes, and some fresh herbs from the garden can make a pretty good tasting soup when we didn’t have time to go shopping for groceries.
The beans in this picture are called scarlet runner beans. They’re huge, meaty and flavorful. I raised these the first year of my garden and loved cooking them up. They’re not easy to buy commercially, but they aren’t hard to grow in a home garden.
Word for tomorrow – OBJECT. If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.
I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.