Making Do

Black bean burgers.

Yu-ummmmm.  I was so craving one.  On account of my sister Mess Cat talking about making her own a few weeks back, I made up a recipe and cooked some last week.  And they were some kind of good.

And I wanted more.

I went to the pantry in search of black beans.  Are you kidding me?  I ate them all already?

Well shoot.

This is what I get for not keeping a running grocery list like my Mama did.

All I could find were pinto beans.

I shrugged.  Well, when that’s what you have…..

"Making do" with pinto beans instead of black beans.  Use what you got, right?
“Making do” with pinto beans instead of black beans. Use what you got, right?

As I was mixing them up, I thought about something Mama said all those years.

They weren’t black bean burgers, but we’d “make do.”

Not looking too shabby actually.
Not looking too shabby actually.

And I laughed.

Maybe that’s why Mama said she was flexible.  She had a lifetime of “making do.”  In the first year she and Daddy moved to Peach County when I was quite small, they didn’t have a stove.

Just think about that.  No stove.  No microwave.  She had a little electric hot plate that she used to cook on.  A whole summer of this.  And then they got their first stove.  She was happy about her new stove, but she’d gotten by–because she made do.

When one of vehicles went kaput and they couldn’t get another one right away, I remember Mama driving Daddy to work so she could pick us up from school later.  They made do.

She sewed a lot of our clothes in the early years, and she made do with what fabric she could get.

When it came time to make something and she didn’t have a certain ingredient, she would figure it out and make do.

Sounds like she was into sacrificing, doesn’t it?

But she wasn’t.  She was so joyful most of the time.  Not Pollyanna exactly, but probably a first cousin.  She could find joy in the simplest or smallest of things. She did it with grace and a thankful heart.  On Mama “making do” looked like appreciation and ingenuity.   And her example of making do is a gift that I’m just now really growing to appreciate.

Because of her, I don’t take things sitting down.  If I have it in my head to do something, and I don’t have exactly what I need, I can come up with another way to make it happen and “make do.”  I think “making do” might be the mother of creativity.  Making do has created some pretty awesome school projects and costumes over the years.  Don’t have something?  Okay, let’s take what we have and make it work.

Tonight I’m thankful for a Mama who taught me the gift of making do.  I think it’s close relations to “appreciating what you have.”  A few of the thrifty folks out there have a tagline–“shop at home first.”  Mama was all about that way before it became the “thing” to do.  Making do was all about being frugal, a good steward, and being responsible.

Making do–it’s not a sacrifice, it’s a beautiful way of life.


My "Make Do" burgers.  Delicious.  And look at Miss Sophie photobombing, hoping for a bite.  Sweet girl.
My “Make Do” burgers. Delicious. And look at Miss Sophie photobombing, hoping for a bite. Sweet girl.

And by the way, the pinto bean burgers more than “made do.”  They were delicious.

Love and just enough to make do to all.




17 thoughts on “Making Do”

    1. Tanya, thank you for asking. And for being the THOUSANDTH CONTESTANT ON THE PRICE IS RIGHT! Wait, no, that’s not right. You made the 1000th comment. Whoo hoo. And you win–well, nothing, actually except for my appreciation and gratitude for reading and letting me hear a voice back.
      So here goes. I already told Michelle that Mama also taught me to wing it. That woman couldn’t follow a recipe to save her hide. She’d always hand you the recipe and say, “But I…..” or “Well here, instead of…..” so yeah, I totally made this recipe up.
      I think this last time (because I wanted to make up extra to eat for the next couple of days) I used three cans of pinto beans. (I like the organic ones from Kroger 10/$10 but any ones will do–it’s not like they are paying me to sell their beans or anything.) I mushed them up with a potato masher. I’ve thought about putting them in the blender but I like some texture so I haven’t tried that. I also sometimes buy already diced onions (frozen–and yes, I am that lazy–but only when they are on sale) so I threw some of those in there. I think because they were frozen they get a little softer than if I’d used fresh. I added two eggs and then (because I’m gluten/wheat free at this point) I added some brown rice flour. I like the almost cornmeal texture. You could use plain flour I’m sure, but if you don’t want to try rice flour, I think I’d play with cornmeal. I did that just to thicken it some. For seasonings, I really wish I had some of the taco seasoning I like to get that doesn’t have “sand” in it, but I didn’t, so I added a bit of garlic galore I have (it’s a dried minced garlic blend), salt, cumin (love that so I add lots), chili powder, and then–and YOU MUST HAVE THIS IN YOUR CABINET–smoked Paprika. It is the bomb in EVERYTHING I’ve used it in. And these are no exception. The time before last that I made them I added in flax seeds which made for a really great texture. But I forgot them this last time. They really make them good.
      I pan fry them, which pretty much means I cover the bottom of the skillet with oil and let them go. Now here’s the disclaimer. It’s a try as you go experiment. They don’t always stay together as I’d like them to. You can tweak the next time. I can’t eat them on a bun anyway, so I pan fry them brown and crispy on both sides and if they fall apart, it’ll still eat. I top them with salsa or diced tomatoes and SMOKED PAPRIKA. The Fella had a second helping last night, and since he had finished the salsa, he topped them with marinara and said they were still really good. You could do any number of things with them. I love them leftover too. Sorry I don’t have a real recipe. Let me know how it goes if you do try them. And I’m sure you could google a real recipe. 😉
      Thanks again for hanging out over here.

      1. This IS a real recipe – I don’t ever really use measurements, just ingredients. I will try these this week and get back to you. I have the potato masher so I should be good to go. Thank you kindly!

    1. Michelle, I love you. Can you please read what I wrote Tanya about the quasi-recipe? And you made the 1001 comment–and quite a few before that too. 😉 Thanks for keeping me company on the ride. And not just last Saturday.
      Let me know if you try the recipe. I’m not doing too much meat and with the limitations in what I can eat right now, I love it when I find something I really enjoy. Black bean what? The pintos are good too.

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