We shape clay into a pot, but the place where it is empty is what makes it useful.
We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable.
— Tao Te Ching
I've been cooking my beans in a big fat clay pot that sits all day on the lowest possible flame on the back of my stove. Once in a while, a little burbly bubble pops up and breaks the surface and slowly, slowly the beans swell and grow creamy. They're flavored with salt and olive oil and a little onion, maybe a bay leaf if I remember or a whole dried chili if that seems appropriate.