quest for the bean

On Christmas day, Sean and I had a tasty baked ham for dinner. There were other items for dinner, but the ham is the important one. Part of the ham is the ham bone. Every time we have ham, the ham bone is set aside for later. Later always means that eventually I’ll make up a batch of red beans and rice.

Enter today. We decide to invite two of our good friends out to the house tomorrow night for dinner and a trial at a new game they gave us for Christmas called Arkham Horror. Red beans and rice always means mass quantities of tasty food that I can just let sit and cook all day, so I decided tomorrow night would be a great time to make said red beans and rice.

One thing to keep in mind about red beans and rice is that the beans have to be dried red kidney beans. The beans then soak overnight with the hambone before then cooking all day with same hambone. That meant we had to go out tonight to get the beans so that they could soak overnight. We have two grocery stores out where we live. The next closest grocery store is 15 miles back in town. We went to Fry’s (Kroger’s for those east of the Mississippi). They had a spot for kidney beans, but were out of the beans themselves. We went to Basha’s. They had small red beans, but not kidney beans. I really wanted to make these beans and Sean wanted an excuse to go to Best Buy to finish off some store credit we had there, so we trooped up into town.

Here’s where a bit of a nightmare begins. We start heading out of Maricopa, towards Phoenix. Right on the edge of Maricopa, we see an accident. It’s a bad one. The police have an entire side of the intersection roped off. Then we see the headlights backed up on the only road that leads between Phoenix and Maricopa. By they time we realized that those headlights backed up really far (approximately 10 miles), we couldn’t turn back without being stuck in the traffic anyway, so we decided to just head on into town.

AJ’s, one of our favorite specialty stores, had the andouille sausage I wanted to add, but no kidney beans. Finally, another Fry’s in town actually had the kidney beans. It took four stores to find a common item such as kidney beans. I bought my two bags of kidney beans and a soda to hold us over for the drive back home. Thankfully, our trip to Best Buy also yielded us three new CDs to listen to.

After a sidetrip down one of the few roads that connects from the interstate and the road to Maricopa (aka Maricopa Rd), which cut the line of traffic for us from 10 miles to about 4 miles, we finally made it back home 3 hours later. 1 hour of that was spent going 4 miles down the road. The quest for the bean, though, was satisfied. The beans and the hambone are now happily soaking in my dutch oven pot and will hopefully yield a very tasty batch of red beans and rice. If not, Sean might just be forced to strangle me.