I admit it.
I often try to do things that I consider virtuous and aligned with independent living values, not always because I aspire to be a pioneer woman (ahem), but because I like being able to opt-out of the modern food system, which I feel is not serving us well in the long term.
One of those Things I Do is try to make beans. I have failed several times - undercooking, overcooking - and succeeded a time or two as well. But it seems a hard thing for me to get a hold of. These complex legumes want to keep their mystery from me! Nevertheless, I keep trying.
Last weekend, I rinsed, I soaked overnight, and I left the house to meet a friend for the afternoon, leaving my Jacob's cattle beans (purchased at my local Bloomingdale Farmers' Market last summer) with their aromatics (bay leaf, onion studdded with cloves) in the oven at ~290 F, from this recipe. I met my friend Yasemin at the metro, and we went on a mini-adventure (for me, not for her) to the Turkish grocery/ convenience/ dry goods store a few minutes away (Attila's on Columbia Pike). I saw, for the first time in 6 years, products that made me squeal with delight- soup mixes and pretzel sticks, ayran and apple tea powder. It was like visiting a locked room in my mind.
Afterwards, Yasemin graciously had me in to her house for tea and snacks, and we talked and talked and talked...and of course you remember I had beans on at home? Well, the fact had fled from my mind, until I realized it was past 5 PM and had a shock of 'Oh I hope I didn't ruin my pan!' We postponed the forthcoming Turkish coffee and I sped home to survey the damage.
I settled down with a movie and looked up an hour later to see that the beans were all crusty and had mostly dried up except the ones under the onion.
Like beans, running is something of a pioneer sport: no money down, no fancy equipment, just gumption, persistence, and determination. If you mess up once, no matter, you can try again next time. Tomorrow is my Try Again.
See you under the cherry blossoms.