Saturday, September 1, 2007

Why am I so tired?

Probably because we took a flying trip to Lexington for a couple of days to visit Ryan and Lindsay, shopped til we dropped, came home yesterday evening, showered and went to Deerhead for dinner. Then up early this morning, running errands, grocery shopping, yadayadayada - I'm too old for all this hubub, girlfriends...

And I might add we came home to mid 80 degree temps with low humidity. I actually took a ride on Milly this morning with my sweatshirt on. It was a wonderful thing...

Hubby is working, and my goal in life this weekend is to make authentic Cuban black beans, using a recipe from my friend Janet's no-good Cuban ex-husband, who she says made wonderful beans. And you all know how much I do adore any kind of the musical fruit...

We ate not Cuban but Cajun food in Lexington, and it was so good, and I'm thinking I should be able to make authentic ethnic food at home. I know what my problem is, I'm not brave enough with the spices. It's all about those darned spices, and sauces, especially hot sauces which I happen to adore. I had one Thursday night called, and appropriately so, "No Tears In Heaven." Wow, now that cleared the sinuses and had me gulping water. I would have loved to given some of this to Uncle Rich (my buddy V's hubby) as he also shares my love of all things so flaming hot that it must surely char our throats as we swallow it.

And that's it from Heavensville. Life is good, kids are fine, John and Tonia are home now from their vacation in Spain. V and Rich are visiting her family in Michigan. I just got pix from Barb, she's back from her Alaskan cruise. Ang is going away for a couple of days, Marti has had a "guy" visiting this past week, and now her cousin is coming. Jeez, everybody has wanderlust.

Me, I'm all about this low-cal pumpkin pie and stews and those darned beans this weekend.... I'll update you on how it's all working out.

In fact, check out the following recipe I found on a Cuban site online. It's not the recipe I'm using, but I'm intrigued by the fact that you cook the beans and discard the liquid you cooked them in. Check this out. Looks pretty good..

Good Cuban Black Beans and Rice, known on the island as Moros y Christianos, is actually two recipes cooked separately and combined into this hearty one dish meal as it is served. This recipe serves one helping to 3 to 4 persons. We often recommend preparation of a double recipe.

First, the Black Beans..... sorting, rinsing thoroughly, covering with fresh water, soaking overnight, draining, rinsing once again, covering with water again and cooking. Believe me, it is worth all of the effort.
Open a 1 pound package of dry black beans (2 cups)
Into a large pot, pour the beans. Look for and discard STONES and other non-bean things.
Under fresh running water, then rinse the beans thoroughly.
Drain the beans and cover the large pot with 6 to 8 cups of clean water.
Bring the pot of beans and water to a rolling boil, stirring frequently.
Reduce the heat and simmer the black beans in the large pot with the lid slightly open for 1½ hours until the beans are very tender.
Drain the cooked black beans (do not rinse again) and set aside, warm, in a covered bowl.
In the pot that you used to cook the beans, heat the olive oil.
Add the bacon, onion, garlic, celery and green pepper into the hot oil.
Cook, stirring constantly until onion is translucent.
Add chicken stock or broth until these ingredients are completely covered.
Add bay leaf, vinegar, tomato.
Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add in the drained beans.
Add in more chicken stock or broth until bean and seasoning mixture is covered.
Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep covered.
Remove the bay leaf and discard it.

Part two. . . . . the Rice..... prepare your favorite white rice per the package instructions.

Finally. . . . . in large individual soup bowls, place a mound of the hot cooked white rice.
Ladle the piping hot black bean soup into the bowls over the rice.
Serve very hot with warm buttered Cuban bread and Tabasco sauce on the side as garnish.


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