I've been doing some reflection, and can you believe it was just a year ago that I'd (finally) gotten a job? Seven months out here, countless applications. Of course I was particular about the kinds of jobs I applied to, but still it was quite a long dry spell! (For the unfamiliar, I work at a little grocery store that is operated by a restaurant group. It's their first venture into retail and it's been really interesting watching the company adapt to customer needs, figure out how to properly use the space, how to re-order and stock things efficiently. How to manage staff. And so forth.) The store was still under construction, not open to the public, and we were training in a nearby restaurant. Even now we're three weeks away from the anniversary of opening. It was cool and rainy much of that time. I and my colleagues were so curious about what the store would be like. It felt like such an experiment.
Anyway, this has nothing to do with today's post.
I am a huge fan of bean soup. Of the beans + ham variety. Split pea, yes please! Red beans, pass 'em over! And for today: Pinto beans! Beans are so inexpensive and such a good source of nutrition. I never really thought about this as a kid, when we'd have beans fairly regularly, but it also makes a huge difference if you cook them from their dry form rather than use them from a can. If you use beans from a can, I think they just taste like the water they were packed in. If you cook them yourself, they produce a lovely hearty broth which is simply like no other.
My method for cooking beans is pretty straightforward: