Hesitation is the bean killer. One must remove all obstacles between themselves and the legume: one must be able to act on their impulses. These distractions creep up in insidious ways. My old batteries were so weak, on the very verge of collapse, that I had started to plan my beans around their needs. Would I have the solar power and drive time to run the Instant Pot? Even so, would there be enough recharge time to set me up with power through the night? A later pot of beans could leave me literally cold for the night, my furnace faulting on low voltage. A bigger pot of beans (always preferred) would take more energy and, perversely, leave me with less energy to run the fridge to store and then reheat those beans whenever I desired.
But I have more energy now, new batteries offering an order of magnitude more power and voltage to fulfill whatever bean whimsy I might crave. I can start the beans late. I can sauté the onions to gain that caramelly depth. I can let them cook at pressure while I leave the van to stroll about in the shadows of dry rain, no worry about returning to dead batteries (and running the alternator to get a boost). Bean barriers have been minimized, their true weight not realized until they were gone.
Without further delay, today's beans involve:
Sauté in the Instant Pot:
- Half of the biggest yellow onion you've ever seen, chopped
- 2 more of those knobby carrots, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb of dry Rancho Gordo Pinto Beans
- 2 Cups water
- Half a packet of Victoria Taylor Seasonings: Smoky Santa Fe Chicken (I have no recollection of where the first half of the packet went...)
- 1 tsp ground cumin (I wish I had a grinder and whole seeds, but living in a box on wheels requires sacrifices)