Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Case in Point, Part II or The Lights were on but Nobody was Home...

I hope this will be the last time I have to 'fess up to the ugly results of living underground for numerous decades. Do others do this? Gosh, I hope I'm not the ONLY one who lays claim to having been sidelined by thinking I'm still in the Dress Rehearsal of Life.

Because I am "taking charge" of my life again, this condition has branched out into other areas that I neglected over the years. Really LOOKING at the "this" and the "that" accumulated over nearly 30 years of living in the same house. And feeling "too busy" and too "overwhelmed" to pay attention.

Thus it was that today as I was perusing my impressive collection of cookbooks (and I HAVE cleaned them out before, I swear, getting rid of ones I've never used and never will). And just see what I found. THREE cookbooks about garlic - which are absolutely identical! Yes, I know, one of them has a different cover; it is several years older and contains a few less recipes, but they are all the SAME. Even the names of the recipes are the same, such as "Aunt Fern's Famous Foot Long Garlic Dog" and yes, I just made that up.

And I mean, really! HOW many whole cookbooks does one need for GARLIC?! Can't you just pretty much throw in a clove or two whenever? I mean, the Garlic Festival chefs put garlic in ice cream,for the love of God. (And yeah, I tasted it, and in my opinion it tastes every bit as bad as it sounds But they keep bringing it back).

Yes, I know, here in Morgan Hill we're only 10 miles upstream (or "upwind" better describes it) from the "Garlic Capital of the World," but still. The folks at the Garlic Festival keep publishing this little gem, and there I'll be walking into the bookstore around August something-or-other, and there on the shelf right by the front door is that cookbook, all spiffy and new, and I'll think, "Wow, look at that! A garlic cookbook! I really should have one of those!" And the rest, as they say, is history.

So I've pulled out the two extras and will offer them to my girls and if they aren't biting, I'll save 'em for the upcoming city-wide garage sale that's coming up soon.

NOW! On a more positive note...BEANS!

The above photo was my lunch today, and it may not look to be all that snazzy, but let me tell you, it was DELISH!

It came about because on Dr. Weil's list of anti-inflammatory foods (my culinary "Bible" now that I've become the "Type II Queen"), are beans, beans, beans. You know, the "Musical Fruit," the "more you eat the more you..." ok, you get the idea.

I hadn't really followed up on the bean thing because, let's be frank (and beans) here. Beans are just so not romantic. Nothing lovely about them. But if they'll pull those glucose numbers down, look out. I may soon be rhapsodizing about the humble little bean.

Without anything concrete in mind, last night I soaked a bag of pintos. Those are "refried beans" before they're born. And this morning I drained them and simmered them for an hour on the stove, which was a tad bit too long because they were on the soft side - no 'al dente' here, I'm afraid.

So now I was facing a big pot of semi-mushy beans and it was getting on to lunchtime. "THINK!" I ordered myself. "What would they do on Master Chef???" (Probably hurt themselves as they fell down laughing - BEANS? SERIOUSLY??, but whatever!)

Thus it was as a Master Chef clicking in the back of my recently re-awakened brain that I came up with a salad with beans and "half-baked" salsa over the top.

On the bottom was a nice bed of arugula. AKA "Rocket Lettuce." On the side, I artistically arranged some sliced Persian cucumber. A drizzle of olive oil went over that. Then, the beans, and the half-baked (I was going to say "half-a** salsa," but I didn't want to be rude here) salsa.

I took half a cup or so of pintos, chopped up one of those loverly roadside stand tomatoes with TONS of flavor and minced up VERY FINELY about half a jalapeno for a little heat (also from the Farmer's Market) plus a dash of Kosher salt and fresh thyme from my herb pot... I heated the "half-whatever" salsa and beans in the microwave for about 30 seconds and dumped it atop the greens. (Yes, the "salsa" was missing some key ingredients, but it DID have the beans don't forget!)

And great news! It was YUMMY! And REALLY satisfying. I am gaining a whole new respect for the little pinto. I hope the pinto is one of those 'brain food' wonders. It could mean I'll have a lot less garlic cookbooks taking up space on my shelves :)

1 comment:

  1. You can take "my" book to the garage sale. If no one buys it, I'll keep it. I'm trying not to buy any cookbooks since there are SO many good recipes online. Its faster to search for something, cheaper and more environmentally friendly! Plus, I'm trying to not have so much STUFF. Please let me know when you've had your bean salad - then I'll see you in 24-48 hours.:)