I read something recently which goes against all I know about cooking dried beans. I have always soaked them prior to cooking, but this article by Russ Parsons in the Los Angeles Daily Times says don't bother! Apparently they have more flavour, only take a little longer to cook and cause no more digestion issues than soaked ones. The web page gives all the information you will need, with a lot of trials by the writer having gone into it.
I was going to try it the other day as I cooked up a batch of red kidney beans to divide and freeze, but really I had plenty of time to soak them. I will definitely do the no-soak method in the future.
The other thing I hadn't thought about was cooking the beans, covered, in the oven while I was cooking other things (worked well of course). I've always boiled them. Funny how you do what you've always done.
I have memories from my childhood of the hissing monster on the stove, overcooked vegetables, and a heavy pressure cooker that was such a pain to hand wash. These things were enough to have me steer clear of using a pressure cooker.
But Derek has made some fabulous meals in one recently, using casserole steak that would have needed two to three hours in the oven to tenderize. His meals took 30 minutes. Hmmm. I just took lessons from him.
For those days when you are running out of time to cook a long slow meal this is perfect, plus it uses less power. Win/win.
I'm probably the last person on earth to do these things...but maybe there's one other who will read this and be inspired!