When I was a kid, my Mom would occasionally make “Franks and Beans” for dinner. She referred to them as “Teenie Weenie Beanies.” Why? I have no idea. Probably because I was about four and when she wasn’t talking to me like I was a full-blown adult, (which was most of the time…) she had these weird little things she would say. “Teenie Weenie Beanies” was one of these idiosyncracies:
This was in the dark days of culinary delights when “Less Work For Mother” was in vogue and it was very hip to use convenience foods. My family wasn’t served processed food very often and fast food even less because my parents hated it and besides, “It’s just too expensive and we can’t afford it.” my Mom declared. Of course, both of my parents were products of the The Great Depression. Consequently, we lived as though Roosevelt was still in office, and any minute someone was going to force us out of our house to live in a tar paper shack. Naturally, this wasn’t the case, but I was led to believe that one never knew where the next meal was coming from so, “Eat up, kid!” The hell with the kids in China, I was worried about tomorrow night right where I was!
Leftovers were the norm, and I saw more potatoes than you could shake a stick at. We tended not to waste much. I would watch a Christmas duck go from a duck dinner, to two duck leftover meals, to duck sandwiches for school lunch, to duck soup.
But every now and then, my Mom would find something to serve that was canned and on sale or she knew she was having a busy week and the cans might come in handy. And again, best put things like this in the pantry for a “Rainy day,” This “processed food” thing was fairly new. And nobody thought anything of it. Nobody knew any better and if it was advertised on T.V. then, well, it had to be okay. Didn’t it? Of course now things have changed. Fresh food and home-made are now back in vogue. Heirloom and local ingredients are all the rage:
A while back I stumbled on to processed food for birds. There are many companies that have begun making it. One company of note was “Beak Appetit:”
While I purchased a bag or two of this stuff, it really didn’t go over with my Greys. And it was pretty expensive. On top of that, I found that it had a slightly funny smell; a smell I couldn’t put my finger on. And I didn’t particularly care for that smell. So I stopped buying it because the birds just weren’t eating it. However, it’s a moot point now because they went out of business.
But I did notice that my birds liked beans.
So I decided to make a pot of beans for my birds and freeze it just like I do with the “Chop.” Since that first modest batch a couple of years ago to about eight massive batches later, now made in the same stock pot I make the “Chop” in, I’ve concocted different versions of it. Here’s how I made it today:
I start out with what I call my “Big Ass Stock Pot.” If you don’t have one of these, I highly recommend you get one. Used is fine. Flea market is great. Garage sale? Even better. This one came from my Dad’s house that I got after he passed away:
I went to the store and bought these items:
As you can see, these are lentils, 15 bean soup (without the flavoring packet) frozen corn niblets, broccoli slaw, wild and brown rice, organic quinoa, and in that Mason Jar on the right, you’ll spot some barley. I chose to add corn this time because I don’t ever really give them very much of it and they get a good dose of it in their pellets.
Method: Find a colander. Put all of the beans and lentils in it and rinse them well. Pick through them to make sure you haven’t purchased any pebbles. If there are any, throw them in the trash because they’re hell on the disposer. Put them in the stock pot and cover with water. Make sure there is three times the amount of water as beans. Let them lay there, bathing and soaking while you go do something else. Forget about them. Eight hours is good, overnight even better.
When the time is up, go back to your beans and rinse them again. And again. You might find the hulls of the beans have loosened and have floated to the top. Skim them off and discard. Keep rinsing until you get sick of it. 5 or 6 times ought to do it. You want a clean mix here. These are some clean beans!
When you have finished rinsing, refill the pot with clean water, again with about three times as much water to beans. Put the fire to it on high until it begins boiling. Turn it down to medium low. You’ll notice a bunch of scum coming up:
You’re going to want to get rid of it:
Attractive, isn’t it? You’ll also find those little bean jackets still floating to the surface. You don’t have to be fussy about it, but get rid of those too if the opportunity presents itself. This is what the scummy scum will look like as you are skimming the scum, so to speak:
Once the beans are pretty cleaned up of the scum, turn the heat to medium low and make sure the pot is covered. Don’t want any “winged things” flying into the pot. Safety first! Cook for an hour or so until the beans are “al dente’ ” or still firm. This is going to have to be up to you because I can’t gauge your stove or the beans you choose. You’ll need to taste them. At this point, add the brown and wild rice mix. Cook for about 45 minutes until the beans are cooked but not mushy and the rice is cooked. Add the quinoa. Let that cook. This will take about 15 or 20 minutes. Turn off the heat. Now this is where your creativity comes in. For this batch I added a couple of carrots chopped roughly, some chopped up fresh ginger, some celery tops, roughly chopped cilantro, a tablespoon or so of hot crushed red pepper and some poblano pepper:
It doesn’t have to be a perfect quarter-inch dice; This isn’t The “French Laundry” Restaurant here. It’s food! Cut them up and toss them in. I used three:
And when you’re done, it’ll look something like this:
And the end result? Well, it’s this:
After it has cooled, simply bag it up as you would “Chop” in one meal portions for your entire flock: One bag should contain enough beans to feed your entire flock one serving for a meal. Place in larger freezer bags, label and date and freeze. Once again, you’re off the hook in the bean department for as long as it lasts. Welcome to my world! I’m hittin’ the freezer!
Making delicious and nutritious beans for your birds doesn’t have to be a pain in the keester as long as you know how to make them. And you don’t need to buy the packaged stuff to pull it off. It’s cheap, it’s an efficient way to feed your birds part of a good diet and they are getting nothing but the food you choose to give them. I think my parents would be proud!
March 12, 2010 at 11:54 pm
Hm, I have just learned something new, that is the need to remove the foamy stuff when the bean mix comes to boil.
Your bean mix looks much better and more appetizing than Beak Appetit, which BTW my birds did not like either.
I tried twice and never bothered again.
There was always roasted duck (stuffed with apples) on Christmas Day when I was growing up too, and I try to continue this tradition with my family now. I even often serve duck on Thanksgiving Day instead of turkey.
Patricia, by duck soup, do you mean a true duck soup that is made from fresh duck blood? Just wondering.
March 13, 2010 at 6:36 am
No, I grew up in the Midwest, we couldn’t have gotten that back then if we tried! I meant duck soup made simply from the bones of the duck. By the time my family had finished with it there was nothing left! As it should be. No waste!
March 17, 2010 at 9:00 pm
Thank you so much for reposting this! Mom’s done the bean and rice thing but this gave her ideas for other ingredients! Wonderful, Miss Patricia!
April 2, 2010 at 7:20 am
Tell your Mom to look up the “Chop” recipe found in the recipe file at the top of the home page. It’s at the right side and the tab is marked, “Recipe Posts.”
March 20, 2010 at 8:18 pm
I hav’nt thought about beanie wienies in a long time, but when i read your article , i could almost taste them!!! We used to get the TV dinner, beans and franks and they were my favorite TV dinner of all. It is funny how our generation grew up with those time saving, cheap meals and we remember them tasting so good. I remember i used to love when we had Spam burgers. I bet if we had that stuff today….it would not even taste close to how we remember them. Some things are probably better off left alone !
March 20, 2010 at 10:15 pm
Darlene wrote: “I bet if we had that stuff today….it would not even taste close to how we remember them. Some things are probably better off left alone !”
This is so true Darlene. I often dream and think of what I had in my childhood such as a special dish or a place I visited, but they are not the same to me anymore.
March 22, 2010 at 10:59 am
Fab recipe Patricia – I do something very similar but you have some great ideas for me to take my recipe to a higher level. Thank you!!!
April 2, 2010 at 5:43 am
Oh, I just have to say thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU for this awesome bean recipe. I have been looking for quite a while for a good one and as soon as I read your blog and saw the pictures, I knew this was the one. I just finished making a HUGE batch. My birds haven’t tried it yet but I just know they (or at least some, I have 8) will like it. In the very least, my 18 year old daughter who is a health nut LOVES it and I have been warned that if I notice my supply disappearing faster than it should, she’s to blame. I have to admit that I like it too, which is a huge compliment since I have never been much of a bean fan. Great blog you have here. I am definitely a new fan 🙂 Take care and thanks again 😀
April 2, 2010 at 5:45 am
LOL, that 🙂 is supposed to be an 8 ).
April 2, 2010 at 7:18 am
I’m so glad you like the recipe as well as your daughter. I just hope the birds like it as well. In order to warm the baggie of beans in the morning for the birds, I take it out of the fridge and place the bag on top of the coffee maker. When I turn on the coffee maker, the heat warms up the bag of beans and it’s nice and warm when i serve it to them a while later. No fuss and no hot spots from the microwave. I also didn’t use any electricity. I squish it around a bit to distribute the warmer beans from the bottom and it’s good to place in their bowls.
September 6, 2010 at 7:22 pm
I use Volkman Soak And Simmer to make something very similar. I am going to try cutting up some hot pepper for them to put in the next batch.
September 7, 2010 at 5:37 am
I’ve used Volkman’s in the beans before. I really like their products.
April 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm
I really loved your recipe but I still have one question but it’s not related to your video but I’m hopeing heat you could answer this for me on this epwebsite called about.com and it has this cooking video that showed me how to prepare sweet potato and carrot mash balls and on an other website it tells me that parsley car kill your pet bird and in the recipe it says that you have to add a title bit of parsley in the recipe at the very end so I’m not sure what to do.
April 19, 2014 at 2:03 pm
The “Parsley can kill your bird” is an old, old myth. It isn’t true.
April 19, 2014 at 2:06 pm
Oh wait it’s me vinoothna again I was just looking on the website and I found out that both if the websites are the same
April 19, 2014 at 2:09 pm
It’s me vinoothna again are there any other types of plants that could kill my pet parrot
April 19, 2014 at 2:10 pm
I don’t recommend rhubarb.Don’t serve onions either.
April 19, 2014 at 2:31 pm
Is there any other types of poisonous plants that could possibly kill my birds including plants and other types of stuff
April 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm
You can always “Google” that just to make sure.