Bolita Beans

And now for a recipe!

My Bolita Beans

This hands down is my favorite bean. It's also my kids favorite. Once you've had them, you'll see why, they are plump, meaty, smooth, easy on the stomach, and they are a local food for us. We get ours from Schweback Farm, and surprisingly they aren't sold out yet from this past harvest. The year before they sold out so fast we went without for the year!

And if you are interested here is a little info about Bolita Beans at Local Harvest/Slow Food USA, a recipe from Taos News (and chicos, which I'll be giving my recipe in the next blog post), and New Mexico Magazine's version.

What I've found is that I don't like my Bolita Beans complicated with a lot of additions. Many times, tomato products are added to beans because the acid in them tenderizes the bean, as the salt does. Any how I urge you to try them simple.

Extra notes:

You can make 1 pound instead of 2. I make 2 because we eat them a lot.

You can also adjust the ham hocks, onion, and garlic ratios suited to your taste. My mom adds 6 cloves of garlic for each pound. For Texas style beans, I've seen as much as 8 ham hocks added to 1 pound of beans.

For vegetarian/vegans I imagine you could use liquid smoke, I have done this in the past, but never took any notes on the amount added.

For us locals, Keller's has someone that smokes their hocks locally. I can't recommend them enough. They are excellent quality and flavor. Call first to see if they have them, they sell out quickly. When they do have them, I buy extra to freeze.

Two pounds yields me about 12 cups cooked beans. I freeze them, and how I do it takes a bit of extra time, but do what works for you. Remove hocks, bay leaves, and onion and discard. Strain liquid from beans but reserve! Measure out two cups of beans into containers, then pour reserved liquid just to cover beans. I find that reheating them with their liquid after being frozen is better.

Before eating we often add either chopped roasted New Mexico green chile or Red Chile Sauce.

And lastly, don't omit the bay leaf. It really makes a difference!

Print Recipe

Bolita Beans

Cuisine: New Mexican

Serves: 12 (1 cup portions)


  • 2 pounds bolita beans rinsed well and picked over
  • 3 smoked ham hocks rinsed
  • 1 large onion, peeled and halved
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • water
  • 1 tablespoons sea salt


Place beans thru bay leaves in crockpot. Add a minimum of 10 cups of water. Turn crockpot to high and let come to a good simmer (1 to 2 1/2 hours depending on model crockpot), then turn down to low and simmer for additional 2 to 3 hours. 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours of total cooking time for the beans to be tender and cooked thru, but you'll notice the skin may feel just a little tough. Add the salt and cook for another half hour, beans will be perfectly tender.

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Plan To Eat

Spring Is Around The Corner

Bedouin Sampler

We got some much needed rain! And signs of spring are everywhere. The trees are exploding and the weeds are popping.

Andean Pebble Weave Sampler

I will be taking a break from weaving until April. We have lots going on with the family, I need to get some more items in my Etsy shop (I will start doing shop updates here), and I am nursing a shoulder injury that just won't quit.

Simple/plain weave with combs

And as a reminder, I do post to Facebook and Ravelry, but I am still learning how to use them. But that takes times, and well, I'd rather be weaving!!!

Sampler Warp

So I'll leave you with a few pictures, and I will see you in April.

And some very lovely chickens!



Yurt Band Motifs Revisted

I was really inspired to give this weaving pattern a try after I read the tutorial at Laverne Waddington's Backstrap Weaving blog (link here). It is probable that you will hear me mention her often in coming blog posts as I've finally had a chance to start reading her second book and work on tutorials from her blog. That means I will be sampling more! I think I am going to call this the "Year Of The Sampler".

As much as I love sampling, I had a chance to complete some small projects using this motif.

the finished bag/pouch with button

After a small conversation on Instagram sparked me to clarify some details. Even thou I called my project on Instagram a yurt band, it is not a real yurt band, it is a yurt band motif that is most definitely woven in non-traditional colors!

yurt band motif mug rug

Following the online tutorial, I wove this using both my Inkle Loom and my backstrap set-up. I do prefer to weave this on my backstrap. If you are familiar with the Inkle Loom, the fabric that is woven can get slightly elongated. Either way, the fabric is still wonderful!

Okay now for the details!

I used both size 3 and size 10 cotton for the warp (not on the same project, either one or the other). The weft was also of matching size. The tutorial for the yurt band is located here. To completely understand the process I did weave an X band, an O band, and an X-O band. Then I wove two bands, both of these were done on my Inkle Loom.

O, X, an O-X Bands
yurt band motif, inkle-woven, size 3 cotton
yurt band motif, inkle-woven, size 10

I hadn't used a backstrap set-up in 3 years. I ambitiously warped and wove a small piece of fabric. It was really more than I should have attempted but two wonderful things happened, I wanted to use my backstrap set-up more, and I decided to weave where my kids could touch it. This way really risky if you know my kids!!! Anyhow, they seemed to understand this was really important to mama and they respected the yarn! Doesn't mean I can leave it hanging there, but I can now weave without the fear of them pulling out the sticks while I'm working. My little guy asks to kiss the yarn, which I let him do, and I am over the moon with that!

yurt band motif sample fabric, backstrap set-up, size 3 cotton

After a long break from ravelry, I popped on in to the backstrap group just in time to join the Olympic Weave Along. Deciding to give a go to a wide warp again, I wove a piece for a cell phone pouch.

In regards to warping, I used a 4 stake method. Instructions for this can be found in Laverne's first book. But it wasn't until I took the picture below that I found that I had made an error. I warped too many revolutions! After fixing that I went to weaving.

using the back of my Navajo loom to warp, and I warped too much!

Laverne has a video tutorial that deals with the topic of sticky sheds. Folks, I can't recommend it enough that you watch and practice this! The link to this tutorial is here.

Also, for the first time in a finished project I used a coil rod. I will write about that another time, but I can say I really liked using it and it made a difference.

weaving in progress, with a coil rod at the top

The pouch is completely lined, I hand sewed the lining in and the woven strap with a baseball stitch.

fabric covered edges
done but needs a button!

Lastly I wove a small mug rug. I had enough warp for two, but I decided to do weft twining for the first time (will discuss eventually in another blog post), and I kept weaving until I was happy with the result.

Yurt Band Motif Mug Rug With Weft Twining

So, that is my adventure with the yurt band motif! I'm sure I'm not done with it yet.

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