Do you know the type of friend who always seems to know about the raddest things happening, finds the most beautiful quotes and books, and knows the most ingenues tips and tricks? For me, that's my friend Emily.
Emily is my pen pal. My online confidant. My 21st century companion. It's always an off day when work doesn't bring her to gchat... I don't know which Atlantic article to read that day! And what should I make for dinner from this list of random items in my pantry? Everyone needs a friend to answer these questions, and I'm so glad mine is as weirdly into food as I am.
Emily recently started a new blog called commonplaces because I'm not the only person who knows Emily is genius at finding cool stuff and sharing wonderful ideas. The concept for her writing is inspired by this beautiful quote,
“Commonplaces never become tiresome. It is we who become tired when we cease to be curious and appreciative. We find that it is not a new scene which is needed, but a new viewpoint.” —Norman Rockwell
Isn't that inspiring? I love to think of ordinary things turning our hearts to extraordinary things, and they so often do. Watching Chase savor his first cup of coffee in every morning makes me feel inexplicably charmed and contented. Sitting down to a plate of comfort food quite literally comforts the soul. Simple things make us happy... Somehow, the ebb and flow of our being is intrinsically connected to the commonplace.
So now that you know all the reasons why I love Emily, let me share one more: black beans.
Emily shared this method of cooking black beans in a slow cooker a couple of years ago, and I haven't bought a can of black beans since. These beans are the base for so many things we eat on a regular basis, I bet if I could calculate how many pounds I've cooked it would be close to 100. Nobody worry if I am getting enough fiber in my diet!
I almost always have a container of these tucked away in the freezer or fridge because they freeze beautifully and only get better with age. Plus, a simple bowl of black beans with lots of chopped cilantro, avocado and lime juice makes for a most satisfying lunch.
Slow cooker black beans
Yields a big pot of beans, roughly 7 cups.
This is less of a recipe and more of a method... feel empowered to adapt it to make however many black beans you want (the more the merrier in my book), and adjust the seasonings to your liking! Serve alongside anything mexican-y, or make a bowl out of it with avocado, cilantro and lime juice (as pictured).
What you'll need:
1 lb. dry black beans (about two cups)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T ground cumin
1 T salt, more to taste
1 tsp paprika
5-6 cups water
Quite simply, add all your ingredients to a slow cooker. Pour in enough water to cover the beans by an inch or so, and give it a stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours. Add more water, 1 cup at a time, if the beans dry out. The beans are done when there is no resistance to their bite.