Very few people know about this story. It’s one of those things you just choose not to share to avoid looking completely incompetent. I’m only sharing it now, because everyone is entitled to a few dumb moments in life. Maybe this one will make you feel better about yours.
I was trying to be lucky. That’s the irony. I had always heard that black-eyed peas brought good luck for the year when eaten on New Year’s Day. I’m not much for superstition stuff, but it couldn’t hurt, or so I thought. We had to eat anyway and I could show off my amazing chef skills with this new Hoppin’ John recipe. It called for dried beans. The kind not in a can. Did you know those existed? Yeah, I didn’t either. Well, I did but I always thought they would take about three days to cook. Who can wait that long for beans?
I got my big bag of dried beans at the store. Smiling and giddy as I hand them to the cashier. I’m sure she thinks I’m a culinary genius with this purchase. I can’t wait to get these ugly things cooking.
My first mistake, I was supposed to wash and soak them. Who knew? I mean, you can’t just steam them in the microwave or something? I barely had enough time to get them in water, so in the rush I might have slightly misjudged how many I would need. Slightly, as in I dumped out the whole bag in a bowl. It didn’t look like that much. I covered it with water and went on with decorating for our little New Year’s Eve party.
A few hours later I stopped by the kitchen for some scissors. Those beans were busting out of the container. I had to split up and transfer them twice. That should have been my first clue. Nope, I was still just singing and throwing glittery signs everywhere.
The next morning, it’s time to cook the beans. They weren’t so little and cute anymore. They looked bloated, like my stomach after a broccoli binge. The recipe calls for 2 cups of soaked beans. Oh, I should have read that better yesterday. Here’s my first stomach flip, realizing I have a big bean disaster. I measure out the two cups and there’s still at least 10 more in my giant bowl. I’ll save it, we’ll just eat them all week. I continue on with the recipe and present it to the family.
They hated it. Not one person liked the beans. Not even me. I would like to think it wasn’t the cook’s fault, but you have been reading this whole time, right?
I looked at the bloated bean bowl and for some reason beyond my comprehension, I decided to throw them down the disposal. I guess I needed them chopped up and gone, not even a trash bag could erase such a mess. It took forever to cram them all down and run the grinder, yet never once did I consider this was a terrible idea. I finally got rid of the little trouble makers and was ready to move on from this. Never to speak of it again.
Until the next day. I go to wash my hands and the water stayed in the sink. I run the disposal, nothing. Cue second heart flip, it’s the beans.
My head hung low, I quietly tell my husband what I’ve done. You see, people say opposites attract. That must be true because I’m a breaker and he’s a fixer. True match. He looks at me, there’s not even an ounce of surprise anymore. I’ve done things like this so many times he’s just expecting it now.
Over the next few days, he spends time trying to plunge, snake and draino my mess away. What should have been a lucky start to the year ultimately put him under the house to cut pipes, clean out a 10 cup section of dried bean plaster and put it all back together.
While I was mortified over the whole thing, I’m also glad he could fix it. The point to my whole story?
Just buy beans in a can.