I'm totally jazzed. Now, before you join be in celebration, the subject line is not at all clever; I'm jazzed about beans.
There's a company called HamBeens that makes a fantastic 15 bean soup. (It comes as dry beans and seasoning. Very cheap, great deal.) I was having some for lunch today, and I went to their website, and found out that they have great northern beans (and a related soup).
Now, normally this would not be cause for any amount of elation, but I make this chicken chili that's just to die for (or at least, that's what everyone tells me). It gets kinda spendy, though, as all told it calls for 152 oz of great northern beans, which I can only find around here in cans at something like $2 per 19-oz can. Based on my calculations, I could use three or four 20-oz bags of dry beans (at about $2 a bag, still) and shave $8 or $10 off my chili recipe.
(Incidentally, if you're reading this and thinking "who the hell needs 152 oz. of beans, keep in mind that this feeds Sam and I for something like a week, except for breakfast.)
So anyway, this is a cause for great happiness - except they don't sell them around here.
So I emailed HamBeens and asked them where I might be able to buy that variety, and not only are they willing to sell me cases of a dozen bags for $25 (including shipping), but they'd also be happy to send me a couple sample bags to see how the recipe works out with dry beans. (And they asked me to share the recipe, too.)
Now, how cool is that? Most companies I know (food-wise, anyway) won't sell directly to consumers, and I can't think of a food company I've encountered that would send me free samples. Score one for HamBeens!
(Oh, by the way - if you like beans but are worried about the, ahem, "adverse effects", take heart. Buying dry beans means you get to soak them yourself, and if you cold-soak them for longer as opposed to warm- or hot-soaking them shorter, it breaks down more of the gas-causing sugars. Or so I've read. It seems to work that way - we've had their original 15-bean soup (and leftovers) all week, with no problems.)
(And now that I feel like an incredi-dork, I'm going to run off and take some international students to the doctor.)