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Basic Beans

1 c Dried beans
1 Bay leaf
1 sm Onion(s), peeled
1 Clove

Spread the beans on a baking sheet and pick through them, removing any pebbles. Rinse the beans in a colander. Soak the beans for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, in 8 cups water in a large bowl.

Drain the beans. Pin the bay leaf to the onion with a clove. Place the beans and onion in a large heavy pot with 12 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, loosely cover the pot, and simmer (see chart pg 262). The beans should be tender, soft, but not mushy. Add water as necessary to keep the beans submerged. Add salt to taste the last
5 minutes of cooking.

Note: To test for doneness, squeeze one bean between your thumb and forefinger. It should crush easily.

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