Sounds simple right?  Well, I think a lot of the world’s population would call this a staple.  I have never had it.  This sort of thing drives me to drinking.  How could millions of people eat this every day and it has never even touched my lips.  Yes, I’ve had pork and beans, from a can.  Never paired with rice, though.  This really gets me thinking.  To me it feels like the world has really become a more closely-knit community, but then something like this enters my world and I realize that I know about a thimble-full of imformation about my world neighbours.

I have set myself upon a goal of eating staple-like food a while back.  Usually when you try food from another culture, you aren’t going to get served what they would set on their table every day of the week.  Just like I wouldn’t open a restaurant to serve you ham and cheese sandwiches.  Oh wait, there’s a few of those here, hahaha!  Example: The Tosti House.  (Sidebar – grilled cheese sandwiches are called tosti’s here AND they think it is ridiculous that we call them grilled cheese!)  Hmmmm, where was I……oh yeah, eating the staple food of a culture.  You always get the fancy stuff.  You have to suss out the regular stuff.  Well, I’ve tried casava, stamppot, grits, curry, but now I got on a mission for beans and rice.

Well, unfortunately I don’t know what kind of beans and rice to make, but I found a recipe on The Pioneer Woman and thought – why the hell not start with this!  Black eyed beans with white rice.

Turns out, this stuff is pretty tasty and really satisfying.  Because the beans are home made, not from a can, they retain a firm but tender consistency.  Very enjoyable.  It also appears very easy to add/delete what you want from any given beans recipe.  I didn’t have a hamhock, so I started with diced bacon.  Delish.  Anyways, I recommend this recipe for sure.  Even Little Pea was a lova.  It is an easy meal, tasty and healthy.  Fiber rich one might say.  One might also begin singing a favourite childhood song, just like my Dad did – Beans, beans, the magical fruit…….


Black Eyed Beans and Rice (aka. Hoppin John) adapted from The Pioneer Woman

These beans can also be called peas (like in the music group), but they are the same thing.  You can get them dried from the grocery store for ultra cheap.  Let them soak in cold water for at least 6 hours.  I covered them with water in the morning and they were ready when I started cooking dinner.  They doubled in size, to my astonishment, so I didn’t end up using the whole bag.  Froze the left over soaked beans to make this another time.  If you’re buying bulk, 2 cups of dried will probably make 4 cups soaked. PS eat these on New Year’s Day and it’s good luck to you for the year.

1 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3 cloved garlic, minced

4 slices, thick cut bacon, diced

4 cups soaked black eyed peas (beans)

3 cups chicken stock + 2 cups water
cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
Cooked white or brown rice for serving
Start by browning the bacon.  While it is browning, and if you are fast enough, chop the garlic, onion, celery and green pepper.  Drop all the veggies in when the bacon is starting to brown.  Saute until the onions go translucent.  Toss in the soaked beans, broth and water.  I never use pure stock because I think the taste is a bit overpowering, so I do half stock half water – hence the 3 cups stock + 2 cups water.  Go all stock if you wish.  Let this simmer with the lid on for 30 mins. At this point, check and see how the liquid factor is.  If you want more or less, either add water and cook with the lid on or cook with the lid off for evaporation for 15 more minutes.  This is your call!  Serve over rice.  Enjoy the soul food.