I made a pot beans last night. This is not unusual for me–I make a crockpot of beans about every two weeks. I truly enjoy rice and beans and eat them a few times each week.
But something changed. I did not use tomatoes.
Actually, let me be more specific. I made a pot of red kidney beans and did not use tomatoes. Jonathan can’t eat tomatoes these days–some skin problems are made worse by tomatoes–so I am not cooking with them.
It has taken me some time to wrap my mind around making soup and beans and stuff like that without tomatoes. For some folks, it would be like having breakfast without a doughnut or bacon, or having church without hymns.
Frankly, for several months I simply avoided red beans and kidney beans, because I could not imagine not including tomatoes. I just made other beans–navy and Great Northern beans, split peas, lima beans, etc.–and pretended it did not bother me. I like all of them, too, but finally I realized I need to face red or kidney beans without tomatoes.
They turned out well. I used a lot of seasoning, more than I used with tomatoes. It was actually fun paying more attention to seasoning (and it helps to have a husband who really knows spices and has a refined and sensitive palate!).
I think I am being taught a lesson–again: namely, that just because we’ve never done it that way before doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try something new.
Will I ever learn this, really?