Thursday, October 18, 2012

Grinding Beans

This morning I walked in the big house and Dilcia had a big stone in her hands, called a piedra de molar (grinding stone).  She also had a rolling stone, shaped much like a rolling pin without handles.  Beside her was a basket full of cooked red beans. She took a handful a handful of beans and placed on the stone.  Starting from the bottom she gently rolled the beans flat.  I noticed she did a small amount at a time.  Then, when she got to the top, she started from the bottom and did it again.  After two times, she removed the mashed beans to another container.  After all the beans were ground she was going to fry them in grease and onion.

Karen said she had tried it and that she had beans everywhere.  Not that I really thought I could do it, but I wanted to try.  Dilcia put the beans on the stone and I began to roll.  I am such a gringa.  If my family was dependent on me to make beans this way, we would all starve to death.  Almost immediately, I had beans all over the rolling stone.  I noticed that when Dilcia did it, no beans were sticking to the rolling stone.  Dilcia said I need more wrist action and less with my arms.  Ha.  That didn't work so well either.

Elvia asked if anyone could take a picture of me.  I had just returned from buying bricks, not exactly a kodak moment and Karen did not have her camera with her either. 

I rolled my beans three or four times and did not have them as smooth as Dilcia did after two times.  And, I had beans everywhere.  I never touched the beans, yet I had beans all over my hands.  The beans were soft.  I cannot even imagine drying to grind dried corn that way.

Dilcia did admit that by the time she finished her arms would be sore.  Perhaps a potato masher would have worked just as well.  Perhaps not.

I am grateful for Old El Paso refried beans in a can.


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