Thursday, October 27, 2011
Early Christmas And Pinto Beans
It was freakin' Christmas around here today. AND a birthday. My next door neighbor, Ms. Petit Fleur, brought over three huge bags of Harley's outgrown toys, books, and a few clothing items including one very cool pair of overalls and one nice rain jacket. Owen's eyes got bigger and bigger and BIGGER!
"Presents!" he announced joyfully and so they were.
We didn't even make it out to see the goats today. There was too much to do inside.
Then to make things even better, Bop got home early and took the boy out to the woods to spread corn. They had a fabulous time, I hear, and saw four deer on their way out of the woods. Or, jungle, as Owen calls it.
Throw in the nap we took and it was a perfect day.
And no Christmas songs were uttered in earshot.
But, as they always say on game shows, THERE'S MORE!
We got a brown egg today that was even bigger than the the ostrich-sized blue eggs we've been getting. Check this out:
Those are two smallish-but-normal-sized chicken eggs and two huge blue ones and one brown one that just puts all other chicken eggs to shame. Those six eggs could feed ten. Easily.
And then, to top it all off, I made one of my favorite suppers. Pinto beans, brown rice, squash croquettes, cornbread and a nice salad. Owen called the squash croquettes "burgers." He liked them, too. Lily joined us for the meal and I think she was pleased. I was pleased as hell to be able to feed her. She has to be at work at six a.m. tomorrow morning and then go to a rehearsal for her brother-in-law's wedding and then the rehearsal dinner.
Gonna be a long day.
When she was leaving she hugged me and apologized for leaving the dishes and the toys strewn all over the house and I assured her that it was fine. That in some ways, nurturing her in ways I was never nurtured is nurturing myself.
"And you'll do it for your babies," I told her.
"I don't know," she said. "I'm pretty lazy."
Right. Pregnant, working full-time and the mother of a two-year old. Lazy is the last thing I'd call that daughter of mine. Tired, maybe. Lazy, no.
Isn't it funny how we all view ourselves through such harsh, judgmental lenses? I will never, ever understand that one.
Anyway, the dishes are all clean now and Mr. Moon's lunch is made and put up in the refrigerator for tomorrow. The toys are in baskets and tucked away. The laundry is done and put away, and all is well.
Tomorrow I will practice reading The Masque of the Red Death a few more times before I trot over to the Opera House for the formal deal. I really hope I don't fuck it up. I have no idea what I'm doing but I just keep remembering the great advice my music teacher and Girl Scout leader told me a long, long time ago- while you're reading, actually think of what you are saying. See it in your mind. And then the audience will understand as well.
Simple. But not as easy to do when you're nervous.
I just need to remember to go slow, don't rush, and act like I'm reading to a bunch of six-year olds and I want to scare the shit out of 'em.
That's my plan.
And now, since this post has already gone on forever, I will give you my recipe for Pinto Beans which is simple as hell and the best, best bean in the world, according to me.
One bag of pinto beans. I don't care what size bag. Tonight I used the 1-lb bag and that was plenty for three adults and one child with quite a bit left over.
I did not soak the beans. You can. I didn't. I just poured the beans in the pot, put in enough water to cover plus about three inches, added a few tablespoons of olive oil, covered them and set them on the stove. I let them come to a slow boil, then turned down the heat as much as possible and let them simmer for hours. At some point I added some salt (about a tsp. and a half) and a few tablespoons of chopped, dried onion. Keep checking and add more water when it looks like it might be getting low.
When the beans are tender, I take the lid off and let the juice cook down to make a gravy. Pinto beans make the best gravy. I add water during this part of the cooking too.
Taste for salt. You may need to add more.
And that is that. When the beans are smushable and there is gravy, they are ready.
I serve them over rice but they are good in tortillas. Corn or flour.
There you go. Cheap delicious protein.
You can get fancy and grate cheese over them but I don't. The leftovers can be made into chili or thrown into soup or just eaten for lunch.
All right. Almost time for bed. I wonder what the chickens and I will be doing in tonight's adventures.
Thanks, Ms. Fleur. You made our day!
And thank all of you who come by here.
Kumbayah, my friends. Kumbayah.