Ditalini brought several secret family recipes to our marriage (her wonderful Italian meat sauce is one), but one I never quite got was the recipe for Uncle Art’s beans.
Legend had it that Uncle Art made a mean pot of pinto beans, but the few times I used Ditalini’s recipe I was unimpressed with the results. The beans just weren’t anything special. One day I glanced at the recipe that came on the package of a pound of dried pintos, and it was basically the same as Uncle Art’s recipe.
Uncle Art’s been gone for years, so I couldn’t ask him about it. Then, a couple of months ago, we went to a family gathering in Northern California, and one of the cousins brought along a pot of beans for the potluck dinner. “These are Uncle Art’s beans,” said Ditalini. I immediately tackled the cousin, but couldn’t get the recipe out of him.
But persistence (and whining) pays off, and now the real Uncle Art’s beans recipe is in my hands. As soon as I find all the ingredients I’ll make a batch. If the beans pass Ditalini’s taste test, I’ll post the recipe here, so check back.