Monday, January 16, 2017

An Adventure in cooking

I used to cook.

A long time ago, in a lifetime far away from here, I used to cook.

At that time, I took pleasure in providing healthy, yummy, super tasty, fun to eat, can't wait to have more food...kinda meals.  One of my favorite memories is of the joy I had when cooking beans.

Yes, beans, but not just any beans, heirloom beans.  Beans that have a history, have been tracked, favored, carefully cultivated because they were needed to keep the family alive.  Beans that were staples as well as a family heirloom, passed down from one generation to the next. These beans were part of the family. And I loved my family, and I wanted to share and enjoy these precious ancestors with my growing family, so I could pass down memories to my children.
              (I know, I know, its a bit much right?)

I'm not sure how I found them, perhaps some crunchy NPR show, I don't recall really.  But I fell in love with Rancho Gordo beans.  Every species has a colorful name and an equally colorful history. Each bean has its own distinct flavor, aroma, and hue of the rainbow.  Some are so beautiful to the eye, you almost don't want to blemish them with scalding water, as to do so would banish a rare jewel the Earth has provided.  From Rio Zape to Yellow Indian Woman (which I have yet to try, but covet so!), each beautiful bound bundle of beans inspires me to cook.

And so I will cook, for I love my family so.

On this night, I learned to listen to your food, that it should never speak loudly to you.  A whisper is a simmer and a boil is rather loud.  I never knew cooking had sounds associated with it, now I must learn the language of food.

The purple beans against the bright, green, celery, with orange, carrots were beautiful to watch
as they danced in the cast iron pot.

A couple of hours later, and the "hint of chocolate and coffee" are obviously within the bean
and it is hard to stop "trying" the beans.
These tasted like time, 30 minutes to be exact.  It turns out they were really "60 minute" beans, but then,
 I didn't know food tasted like time either.

Finished.  A beautiful bouquet fills my kitchen, and the broth looks hearty.  These Rio Zape beans are fantastic, and there have already been promises of eggs and beans in the morning.

Cook well all!

"Just because your mother tells you it's true, doesn't mean it's true!"
  ...quote from my mother.