Recipes, Tips and Ideas!

Posted by Steve Smith on June 21, 2012 0 Comments

 This is where you can share your special recipe that was passed along to you from your friends or family - OR - something you have created! We love sharing ideas...

One thing we came across is the importance of using non-tap water when making our Sourdough Honey Cornbread. Whatever is put in the community well water - at least in our area - makes it tough for the sourdough starter to activate like it usually does. Had the tangy flavor, but not the texture we like to see.

Actually, Liz at Marie Callender's Commercial Division and I were talking and she mentioned they experienced trouble with their famous Gold Rush Sourdough Starter and traced it back to city water. Liz suggested trying bottled water or boiling and cooling the water - which is a pain because of the cooling time - anyway, it worked!

We use Buttermilk as our liquid and allow for some time for the batter to rest before baking and it is good stuff! That Marie Callender mix is good stuff to use if you don't want to go to all the trouble we do - but, of course we are partial to our own San Francisco Sourdough Starter and make ours from scratch. No offense to Liz!!



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Is the chili really hot?

Posted by Steve Smith on July 17, 2011 0 Comments


Is your chili spicy hot?

Mom always said the heat could be added, but if we over-spice we can’t remove the heat!

Dad said he wanted the chili to taste like a party for your mouth, but not dance all night! Well said…

We have learned more about spices and the quality of spices is better now than in the 1960’s with more emphasis on fresher products and better quality. There are some very good vendors in that business and we work with some of them.

We serve our chili with fixings’ and people are encouraged to dress up their chili to their favorite taste – some like more hot sauce or jalapeños, others prefer diced tomatoes and onions, some like crackers and some love our sourdough cornbread and just about everyone tops off with cheese – it’s a personal thing and chili is as unique as you are! Dig in and have fun – be creative!


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Award winning chili?

Posted by Steve Smith on July 17, 2011 0 Comments


One question that always is asked… Has your chili won any awards at Chili Cook-off Contests?

Actually, we have never competed in a contest! We think the contests look like a lot of fun to attend and have some fun, but here’s the deal…

We make chili for people to eat! It is cooked longer and rested under refrigeration for the flavors to blend and become better. Competition chili is made for a quick taste by several judges – it is similar to wines – some great wines are wonderful for fragrance and palette tasting – but not necessarily a ‘drinker’ you would serve with a meal.

We make a chili without beans, but we really like what our heritage beans do for the eating experience and we really like the fact that it is good for us to eat that delicious source of protein and fiber. The CASI competition chili’s forbid the use of beans. What are they thinking??? Just kidding! We appreciate the Texas and Oklahoma style chili and we make some that are similar.

We like to think the customers we serve are a bit like a competition. In that arena, we do very well because our chili’s are loved and reordered by everyone – and especially the children! We do love to sample our products to lots of people – not just judges – to see what they think.

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"The musical fruit..." What about the gas???!

Posted by Steve Smith on July 17, 2011 0 Comments


What about the gas???!

We love this question and actually have an answer for greatly reducing the “musical toot!”

What causes the gas and flocculants is the sugars that seep from the beans during soaking and cooking. The sugars that are now in the cooking water mix with the enzymes in our lower intestines as our bodies try to break down the sugars and Yippee!  We have successfully made our bodies into little refineries!

Here is what we do to help with this:

  1. Rinse the dry beans several times with cool, clean water.
  2. Soak the beans for several hours until fully expanded.
    1. Stir these beans
    2. Drain the water off
  3. Cover the beans again with cool, clean water, we add salt and onion, bring to boil
    1. Reduce and allow simmering for forty minutes or an hour – until softened.
  4. Turn off the heat and allow beans to rest in the water for ten or fifteen minutes.
    1. Drain the water off and cool the beans with cool, clean water to stop the cooling process.
  5. After thoroughly cool, drain off water and beans are ready to use.

Some thinking is that we are draining off the flavor and nutrients, to say nothing of the amount of fresh water this all requires. This is a good and valid point. We use good quality bases or stock to our soups and chili products, which creates a wonderful flavor without excessive gas.


We are told that continual and regular consumption of beans will allow our bodies to adjust and better handle the sugars – but this is also a different dietary concern – in our slim and trim society. Have you ever noticed how happy and healthy natives to Mexico and other high bean consumption areas are? It’s the beans!


We don’t know about over the counter products claiming to reduce gas – IE, Beano and others. Maybe some of you can help us with other ideas to keep the “musical fruit” under control.





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What is the difference?

Posted by Steve Smith on July 17, 2011 0 Comments


What is the difference between Heritage/Heirloom Beans and ‘regular’ beans?

Now, before we too harshly or improperly judge “Big business in agriculture” we need to also realize that to feed a hungry world and maintain low consumer costs and deal with a host of regulations, inspections and hundreds of other things, the agricultural industry has done a tremendous job. Seeds are altered to be more disease resistant and require less chemical management and water. The genes are altered in the seed to determine a consistent size for mechanized planting, harvesting and offering a very long shelf life for long storage times. That is why the beans we buy in a grocery store can be acquired for less than $2 a pound. It is an amazingly well orchestrated system and it works pretty well – for distribution.

All-natural products such as our heritage beans are not all exactly the same – plus they do not offer the same high yield per acre as genetically altered beans. They are much more expensive to grow and have a shorter shelf life. They must be distributed and used while fresh – within a year or two maximum.

So – the question is why? Why do we grow them? Then answer is FLAVOR! These are just better beans. Higher nutrition values, better protein levels and much more natural fiber content are just some of the reasons. We love them and you will too.

Beans are one of nature’s most healthy organisms for us to eat – they are very good for us. Whether you choose heritage or genetically altered beans – they should be part of your diet on a regular basis. Legumes are powerful little packages of energy! Heritage/heirloom are just that much better for you and again – it’s the flavor!

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Is there a difference?

Posted by Shopify on June 17, 2011 0 Comments

What is the difference between “Heirloom” and “Heritage” beans?

The terms "heirloom seed" and "heritage seed" are used interchangeably. An heirloom plant is an open-pollinated cultivar that was commonly grown during earlier periods in human history, but which is not used in modern large-scale agriculture.

These beans are not genetically altered and therefore are not as easy to plant, grow, harvest, clean and separate and are best used within two years of harvesting. They do not all look the same - they are not all exactly the same size or color - but, like us, the beauty is really on the inside! The flavor of these beans is just better! Filled with energy and high nutrition and protein these are a great source of vitality and good health. Heritage beans will have up to three times the fiber content of commercially grown beans. this is one of the reasons they were so popular when fresh vegetables and fruits were difficult to obtain. We call them "nature's broom!"

Don't worry about the gas factor! We teach you how to properly prepare the beans without the 'gas-effect' and still have wonderful rich and satisfiying flavor.

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