Thursday, December 11, 2008


The other day our monthly investment report arrived. There wasn't that much in the account to begin with, but it's down over 40% now, and that little piece of news, though not unexpected, still made my tummy lurch. Things are tough . . . let's face it! But I find it interesting how different people are coping with current events.

Some people are consumed by the news, while others choose to assume the "Ostrich Position"--turning off all media devices, inserting head in sand and trembling. Stocking up seems to be the strategy of choice for many people, but of what? Cash under the mattress? Sale items in the pantry? Guns and ammo in the back of the pick-up?

"Buy Pinto Beans!" is my battle cry.

Don't laugh. . . They may be the perfect storage items. Aside from the fact that they are one half of a complete protein, they are plentiful, inexpensive and versatile. With a little imagination, you can add them to your breakfast, lunch or dinner menu, not to mention the fact that there is actually a tasty fudge recipe that relies on the goodness of what exemplary legume? You guessed it! The Pinto Bean!

You can make chili, spreads, dips, soup, salad and a meat substitute with pintos. And for those of you who feel they need a more substantial means of defense, when dried, they can also be used as ammo. You doubt me? Ever heard of a pea shooter? I rest my case.

So this is how I am raging against the machine. When I'm worried about the economic impact of the seeming irresponsibility of handing out one billion dollars to host the Inaugural, what do I do? I buy more Pinto Beans! When I can't sleep over the auto maker bail-out? Yep . . . I buy more Pinto Beans! And when I was appalled by the minutest mention that that Hollywood might actually give Roseanne Barr another series? You got it . . . I clicked and ordered more Pinto Beans and their cousins-- Kidney Beans, Great Northerns, Black Beans and the dual-identified Chick Pea/Garbanzos.

Okay, so maybe beans won't single handedly save the economy or bring a return to pre-economic melt-down America. But people who have a supply of food in their pantry know that such staples bring a sense of peace and preparedness to the soul, and they do provide a good hedge against a difficult economy and a cheap way to nutritionally extend one's budget. That's a win in my book!

And I do really have some great recipes. For example:

BEAN SALAD (also makes a splendid dip for a sturdy corn chip)

1. Drain and mix together one can of each of the following: Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans, Chick Peas, Black Beans, Whole Kernel Corn, Chopped Green Chilies

2. Dice and add the following: 1 Green Bell Pepper, 1 Onion, 3 ribs of celery and 1 avocado

3. Shake and pour 1 bottle of Zesty Italian Dressing over and mix well.

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