*Lyrics from a new single from my favorite (and yours, right? right?) Local Natives called Breakers. Needless to say, I’m in love. And now await their upcoming album (called Hummingbird) release in January with bated breath. Ok, not fully bated, just, well, I can’t wait. But I will.
And now it’s time for our next installment of Kitchen Monthly… better late than never?
You know, I never much considered the bean. I mean, who thinks about beans? They’re just beans, right? Wrong. Oh, so wrong. I’ve discovered, and have perhaps squandered years of bean enjoyment, that real beans are so very, very different from those in a can. And so, so much better.
It started with a summertime cookout. Jeff and I were tired of the ol’ burgers n’dogs routine, and wanted to make something special. Plus, we were trying to shed some pounds, and keep on our running/training schedule, so including some fiber, and some fresher ingredients seemed appropriate. We arrived at a grilled taco, with slow-cooked pork shoulder (or butt, who knows?), fresh salsa, guacamole, and a black bean side dish. We figured, for those who don’t want the meat, we’ll have a suitable alternative. And for those that do, well, black beans have anti-oxidants, right? They’re good for you!
Simply put: they were outstanding. The pork came out well (we tried it a few times throughout the summer with varying degrees of success), and the salsa was a hit. But the beans – the beans! – were out of sight, man. Seriously, just black beans (about two cups?), soaked (about 4 hours, but could be done overnight) and simmered (about 1 1/2 hours? or until tender), seasoned with a generous amount of salt (to taste) a teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander, a handful of chopped fresh cilantro and one chipotle in adobo, chopped. That’s it. But the bean, that’s the part that’s magical. They bring their own flavor.
When I give my heart, it will be completely…*
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*Lyrics from When I Fall In Love as sung by (gulp) Celine Dion. I know, I know! It’s sort of cheesy (ok, a LOT cheesy), but, well, I’m a romantic, and a sap. And I started out with a different song in mind, but something in the lyrics of this one spoke to the nature of the vows that were given (not taken). And the video is wretched, and has nothing at all to do with the loveliness that was this past weekend. But the Doris Day version seemed too sad… and not what I wanted. Oy, ok. Just, insert your own tune, but know that you cannot fall without giving yourself to the fall. You cannot receive the love, you must give it. That’s how it works. Ok, moving on.
So, I have several blog posts written, just waiting for pictures. Which will be taken when things get a little more finished, or when I get back in the habit of photographing things as I go along. I’ve been a little rushed, and a little overwhelmed of late, what with having the house on the market, also trying to home-ify our pied-à-terre, all that bouncing back and forth, packing and unpacking, and then making a trip to lovely northern California for Jeff’s cousin’s wedding (more packing, and unpacking). We may not have shown you our wall paint selections for the flat yet, or have any news to report regarding the sale of our home, but we did manage to take pictures of our trip, and it was spectacularly lovely.