I got my start cooking with beans over fifteen years ago when my Grandmother challenged me to make a contribution instead of a complaint. I began cooking my soups for family and friends after one particular family gathering where I got up the nerve to tell my Grandmother that I would not eat her black eyed peas. My Grandmother, who was a Pastor and the backbone of the family, sagely observed, "Eula, you did not bring anything to this table, but yet you complain about the food that was prepared and shared." She then suggested that instead of complaining I should take over the preparing of the black eye peas. I gladly accepted the challenge.
Later that evening I called my Mom, who is a superb cook, and asked for her navy bean recipe. My Mom gave me her recipe, I tweaked it to my liking and made sure I tested it until it was just right. At the next family gathering, I presented the soup to family and friends and the rest is her-story. Today, I have recipes in my head for over 88 different varieties of soups, stews, chilies, and gazpachos.