If you had asked me 2 hours ago if it was possible to blow up a pot of beans, I would have said no.
However, I now know better. I'd been brewing this latest pot for a few evenings now, and I noticed as I have recently with other similar attempts that no matter how long I cook the beans they don't seem to soften up. So I figured, "Well, someone out there on the internets knows the answer to this." After a quick Google search, I learned that if the beans you're cooking have been sitting in the cupboard for awhile, they can in fact get stale in which case no matter how long you cook them they just won't soften up. But alas, there is a way. Just add a little baking soda to the mix to produce the desired effect. Apparently the alkalinity produced by the baking soda does the trick. I think the recommended amount was something like a half teaspoon, but I figured if half a teaspoon was good, a rounded teaspoon would be better (it was after all a big pot of beans) so I dumped it in there, mixed it up, turned on the heat and went into the living room to watch TV. After awhile I thought I'd better check the progress. Turns out I probably should have done that sooner. When the water reached a healthy boil the baking soda started bubbling itself as baking soda is wont to do (I forgot about that), and the mixture boiled out of the pot and over most of the stove top. It didn't actually explode in the classic sense of that term, but the end result was quite similar. On the upside though, what remained of the beans was actually quite good and did in fact soften up nicely. The moral to this story is, if you use baking soda to soften up old beans, be wary of the amount of baking soda you add and pay attention while you're cooking. So ends this episode of "Another Evening in the Kitchen With a Single Guy."
but these beans had been in the cupboard for awhile. I think they were well passed much benefit from soaking overnight. Thanks for the onion/ham hock tip though. I'll have to give that a try. It's bound to be safer for me than baking soda.
18. They've been stored for umpteen years in moisture-proof tupperware stuff
I know that some beans can be brought back to life, so I suppose if they were cooked long enough they'd be somewhat edible. Or, since I garden, I could throw a few in the ground next year. I am sort of curious as to what they'd do, but my family - the anti-gourmets that they are - doesn't give me much chance to actually use beans.
15. If you do split peas in a pressure cooker, make sure you add enough water.
My late grandmother learned this when the rocker blew off and split pea goo left through the vent nozzle like it was a Super Soaker. The ceiling was covered in split peas and they rained down over her head. Yes, that sounds funny. She, however, was not amused.
16. I actually DID explode an electric stove, documented right here in the Lounge
Can't provide the link, but I put a thin-aluminum pot to boil for my first and only attempt at chicken soup. A hole developed in the thin metal, leaking liquid onto the element, and PRESTO!1 EXPLOSION!1 Sparking, the works!1
I was in the next room on DU and after the panic was over, posted it and a kind DUer still remembered it the next time I posted about another cooking exploit.
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