Prairie Views

~ Dreamy abstraction in Four Square House on the Pairie

Month: December 2011

The Kindling Pile

I remember a time that I would take an axe to create kindling to start fires with. After a couple of years I came to the conclusion that using the small branches or sticks from the trees is a lot more effective.

This is the mail pile of the twigs and branches.  When we cut down a tree I pile up the small limbs to come back latter to break into small pieces. This is somewhat time consuming but is easier than using an axe to break logs into kindling and I believe it works better. On the side porch we have two plastic trash cans that we fill with the kindling and paper to start fires. Their is no long distance walking to the wood pile area. I usually make another pile over their that is larger and last the winter. On the porch the paper and kindling are out of the rain and snow. It does not look very nice and will need to work on that but it works and makes it easy to get what you need especially early mornings rather than going to the main pile.

Phytohaemagglutinin, Beans and your Slow Cooker

Phytohaemagglutinin (Kidney Bean Lectin)is found in many types of beans but Kidney beans have the greatest concentration. The consumption of raw or undercooked beans causes the syndrome and can be hard to diagnose because the symptoms are the same as other types of food poisoning. So you may be wondering what does this have to do with crock pots and slow cookers? Apparently the cooking of beans in a crock-pot will not generate a high enough temperature to eliminate the toxin.


The good news is with proper cooking techniques you will eliminate this toxin. The most important step to take is to hard boil the beans for at least ten minutes. When I cook beans I soak either using the long soak for the short soak method of getting the beans to a boil and then letting them sit and soak a couple of hours. I then drain the beans. Draining the beans reduces the other affect beans tend to cause. I then put the beans back in a pot with fresh water and bring the beans to a boil. I then boil for at least 10 minutes but usually longer and depending on what is going on I will pour the cooking beans in a slow cooker to complete the cooking. I usually like to cook the beans all the way with only water because salt and other ingredients can make beans hard.


Enjoy your chili and other bean recipes which are still a good source of protein but remember to cook them properly.

Red kidney bean toxins +

Beans and other legumes: Types and cooking tips

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