So I just recently made my first beans from scratch. I told a fellow teaching assistant this, and she laughed at me. Maybe it is funny. I've only ever bought beans in a can.
I did have incredible Cuban black beans made in a pressure cooker when I was living in Chile. My Cuban friend, Karel, would make them for us along with fish or pork--I've always wanted to copy. I'm still waiting for him to send me the recipe. However, my cookbook (or cookbible--Nourishing Traditions) says to slow cook beans rather than use a pressure cooker so that you retain more of the nutrients.
I start out by soaking the beans overnight with lemon juice (2 cups black beans, warm filtered water to cover and 2 tbls lemon juice)--they need 12 hours or so. The next day I drain off the black water, rinse the beans and put them in a pot with water to boil. As soon as they start to boil I skim off the foam, (it's where impurities collect) add 4 or 5 cloves of mashed garlic and then reduce heat so they can simmer for the next 6 hours. It's been my Sunday activity for the past 2 weeks because it's the only time I have to hang around and let beans simmer for 6 hours. They make the apartment smell good.
I head off to work at 5 (at Costas Opa) and have Micael put some brown rice on at 8:30. I get home by 9:30 with organic salsa made here in the Seattle area, organic cultured sour cream and we throw it all together--black beans, rice, salsa and sour cream. And then we eat it for lunch all this week. It's lick your plate with your finger good. Although most of you know I do that for a lot of things.