Rinse the beans in a colander, then place in a large pan, bring to boil, boil 1 min.
Turn off heat, let sit one hour.
Or don't cook and just let set overnight in water to the top of the pot.
The beans will about triple in volume.
Drain off water.
Add sugar & fresh water to cover and spices.
Add more sugar and/or spice if you think its needed.
Cook until the beans are tender, adding more water if needed.
This will vary with the type of bean and their age.
Probably 45 minutes to 1-1/2 hours.
As the beans are cooling add salt, if you use it, to taste.
Also add more sugar or spice if you think it
No time to cook beans?Use canned or make the sweetened liquid, slice soft silken tofu and heat in the hot liquid or just cover with the chilled liquid.Vary the spices and sweetner to get different tastes.Try maple syrup for a portion of the liquid after cooking (use less or no sugar during the cooking process) if you love maple, or just pour it over the tofu.The tofu is especially good as it resembles a custard (a remark made by a friend of mine who is lactose intolerent and yearns for pudding.She is also diabetic so she makes it with artificial sweetner added at the end).This keeps 4 or 5 days in the refrigerator.Freeze for longer storage.I rarely bake so my family and friends have to live without homemade cakes and such (at least made by me).This is the kind of dessert we usually have.Also makes an excellent snack, hot in the winter and cold in the summer.