Random Sampler


Do You Know Beans about Beans?

Dried beans are inexpensive and they keep well, so they are an excellent item to add to your food storage. They provide complete protein if you combine them with grains such as wheat, rice, or corn. The protein value of the meal increases when you serve beans and grains with other complete proteins such as meat, cheese, or eggs.

The problem with dried beans is that many people don’t use them; either they don’t know how to cook them or they don’t want to take the time. If you fall into one of those categories, here are instructions for both traditional and quick methods of preparing beans.

Overnight soaking: Beans soaked overnight retain their shape better, have a more uniform texture, and require less time to cook. This method is best if you are planning to use the beans in salads. Wash the beans; then soak each pound (two and one-half cups) of dried beans overnight in six cups (two and three-fourths imperial pints) of water. If you like, you can dissolve two teaspoons of salt in the water for flavor. After soaking the beans, drain and discard water. Rinse beans.

Quick soaking: For each pound of dried beans, bring eight cups (three and one-half imperial pints) of water to a boil. Add washed beans and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat. Cover pan and soak for one hour. Drain and rinse beans; discard water.

To cook soaked beans: For each pound of dried beans, dissolve two teaspoons of salt in six cups (two and three-fourths imperial pints) of boiling water. Add drained, soaked beans and simmer them in an uncovered pan until tender; time for this process varies from twenty-five minutes to two hours. If necessary, add more water as beans simmer, keeping the liquid level with the beans. Drain. Each pound of dried beans makes six to seven cups (about three imperial pints) of cooked beans.

To cook beans without presoaking: Be sure to plan for extra cooking time if you use this method. For each cup (eight ounces) of dried beans, bring three cups (one and one-fourth imperial pints) of water and one-half teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add beans. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, adding water as needed to keep beans covered.—Relief Society General Board

“Introducing …”

The annual Relief Society birthday party is next week, and, because you’re head of the planning committee, it’s your assignment to introduce the evening’s guest speaker. But you’ve never given an introduction before. What should you say? Are there rules of etiquette you should follow?

There are many occasions—firesides, homemaking meetings, Boy Scout courts of honor—when it is necessary to give the featured speaker a slightly more detailed introduction than those we normally hear in sacrament meeting. The extra information helps the audience feel comfortably acquainted with the speaker—and he or she with them. Even more important, a successful introduction helps the listeners want to hear what the speaker has to say. So the next time you are assigned to give an introduction, use some of the following tips to help you do it more effectively.

Preparing Your Introduction

  1. 1.

    Learn to pronounce the speaker’s name correctly. Take special care to recognize the positions of Church leaders; for example, introduce General Authorities as “Elder” or “President,” as appropriate to the speaker’s position; members of a stake presidency as “President”; ward bishops as “Bishop”; and full-time missionaries as “Elder” or “Sister.” Refer to other Church members as “Brother” or “Sister.”

  2. 2.

    Talk with the speaker—or someone who knows him or her—in order to get background information that will be of interest to the audience.

  3. 3.

    Inform the speaker of his or her time limit and of important facts about the audience and the occasion.

  4. 4.

    Keep in mind that a short introduction should create in the minds of the audience a desire to hear the speaker.

Introducing the Speaker

  1. 1.

    Begin by telling the audience what the speaker’s subject is and, if necessary, why it is important.

  2. 2.

    Give the speaker’s name and a brief statement about his or her qualifications to discuss the subject.

  3. 3.

    Do not embarrass the speaker by using such terms as “distinguished speaker,” by giving a flowery statement about his or her qualifications, or by predicting the treat the audience has in store.

  4. 4.

    Keep your remarks brief; remember that you are not the featured speaker. Do not give a preview of the speaker’s talk; do not demonstrate through a lengthy introduction what a superior speaker you are, or entertain the audience at the speaker’s expense.

  5. 5.

    When the speaker has finished, do not recap his or her speech and make your own point. Thank the speaker and graciously close the meeting.Shirlee Hurst Shields, Salt Lake City, Utah

Scripture Sketches

When President Ezra Taft Benson challenged us to display Book of Mormon pictures and quotes in our homes, I decided to order some prints of Book of Mormon scenes to frame and display. But before I had a chance to send in my order, my husband, Reid, came up with a creative way to heed the prophet’s words. He suggested that we draw our own Book of Mormon pictures.

Now, on Sunday evenings, we get out crayons and paper and each make a simple drawing of a scene from a particular Book of Mormon story we have discussed. One Sunday evening, for example, our six-year-old drew a picture of Lehi and his family in the wilderness; our three-year-old, a “picture” that he explained was Laman talking to Laban about the brass plates; and Reid drew the angel appearing to the four brothers. After we talk about our drawings, we hang our “story” in our home.

We have found that our pictures reinforce our study of the Book of Mormon—and they also give us a chance to have fun together and develop our talents.Kathryn Ricks Bates, Danville, California

[photos] Photography by Philip S. Shurtleff