I’m in a pickle over my Nicaraguan red beans. Today when I opened the tin to scoop some out to clean, wash and cook for supper, they smelled like mold. I didn’t think too much about it since a cloud of earthy moldiness lingers about them at all times anyway. But after cooking them up, they tasted of mold. I don’t think each of the individual beans were tainted since some fork-fulls tasted fine, but there were enough of them in a compromised state that the cooked beans all together in the pot gave off an unappetizing aroma.
Pre-supper, and post-feeding The Baby Nickel a snack of the questionable beans, I scoured the web, in my slow dial-up way, trying to answer the question of Is it dangerous to eat moldy dried beans, and What to do if your dried beans smell moldy, but I came up empty-handed.
So we ate the beans for supper. I heaped on the salsa and sour cream, and then I had another helping—they weren’t too bad. The kids didn’t say a word them, and I certainly didn’t make any mention of the problem, but Mr. Handsome noticed the odd flavor. He ate them anyway, of course, having to set a good example for the chillens. And besides, I had decided that if we’re going to die, we’re all going to die together.
But now I don’t know what to do. Save the beans? Chuck them? I still have fifteen to twenty pounds of these used-to-be gorgeous beans. And they still are gorgeous; I can see no signs of mold on them at all—they just taste of mold. I had neglected to put aside some of the beans for next year’s seed, so I picked over another quart of beans and now they’re sitting on the counter, ready to be run down cellar to the freezer. The beans will be okay as seed, won’t they?
Ach, I don’t know what to do! Would you (yes, you!) stoop to help me in my distressful time of need? Pretty please? Below I’ve listed some options that should simplify your role of advice-giver. Just leave a comment, with the letter that best aligns with your thoughts on the matter, plus any clarifying remarks. I’d be most obliged.
Please select one of the following:
A. It is Super Dangerous to eat those beans! I can’t believe you ate them for supper. By ten o’clock tonight you will all be puking your guts out, mark my words.
B. Eh, you’ll probably be just fine as long as you wash them well and cook them for the full amount of time. Toss in some jalapenos to counter the moldy flavor. (You might want to refrain serving them to any dinner guests, though.)
C. You could probably remedy the fix by rinsing them in a bleach-water solution and then re-drying them.
D. What are you thinking! Bleach your beans?! No-no-no, Honey. All you need to do is lay them out on brown bags by the wood stove to re-dry. So simple, really. (Bleach! My goodness, I still can not believe it.)
E. Excuse me, but I disagree with “C” and “D”. It’s obviously a hopeless case—once your beans taste of mold, they will always taste of mold. You won’t get sick, but you won’t want to eat them either. The moldiness will just intensify over the next weeks and months. Soon your house will smell of mold. And then you’ll notice little fuzzy, black patches on your clothes and on your un-polyurethaned window trim—signs that the mold is taking over your house completely. The situation will shortly become dire. Not good, no, not good at all.
F. Do not plant moldy-tasting beans because the resulting plants will spread disease and destruction to the entire garden. You must put on your to-do list: fly to Nicaragua to get new beans ASAP.
G. The answer to your problem is so totally, like, duh, obvious; I can’t believe you didn’t know this already. What you need to do is ___________.