Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cheapso Eatsos

Red Beans on Corn Tortilla
After a quick visit to the Pope County Farmer's Market to round out my salsa making supplies it was time to eat lunch.  Yesterday I soaked half a bag of red beans and last night I cooked them.  I am talking about small red beans, not red kidney beans.  They taste completely different, and the kidney beans are probably my least favourite, so make sure you use the right one. 

Thanks go out to my friends Carolyn and Byron T. who introduced me to Cajun food and red beans.  That's where I got first hand instruction in the art of roux making.  Prior to that I thought that pintos or great northern beans were the go to bean for most cooking occasions.  I love them all, but I have a fond spot for the small red bean.

So lunch was a corn tortilla covered in beans with some cheese melted on top.  After heating, this layer was covered with sour cream, sliced peppers- hot and mild, onion, tomato and cilantro.  Just about perfect if I do say so myself.  The crazy thing is that it is so cheap, delicious and versatile.  It is completely customizable; it can be gluten-free, dairy free, meat free... you pick. It probably costs less than a quarter to make one, depending on how much stuff you have to buy and how fancy you make it.  If you need to cut the grocery bill here is a good bet.  Most of the ingredients don't spoil quickly either, you don't have to eat everything at once (unless you just want to).  South of the border eating is good stuff and we have lots of yummy options around.

Banana tree with flower and fruits
A more exotic item I saw this week was a banana tree in bloom with small bananas.  This is at a salon in town and is the first I have seen  fruiting outdoors in my town.  We have to dig up and store banana plants over the winter here in zone seven so not that many people give them a serious try.  One of the auto mechanics in town has a huge lemon tree in a stock tub that he rolls out for the summer and back into the garage for the winter.  It produces lots of lemons and seems to enjoy the CO and other gases from the garage.

To mix a metaphor, a thing of beauty is outside the box.  We all need to challenge some limitations by thinking outside the box, what do I want to try to do that I don't see around town  very often?  We also need to appreciate the wholesome, simple spectacular, that thing we can make, improve and add too.  The wise and well-lived life has room for both.

1 comment:

  1. red beans, now you're talking :) that's how i grew up in Louisiana!