Black bean salad and smash

I am testing my ability to teach from my floor station. Laid flat out like a drunk in the middle of a subway platform–people flying around and over in every direction just the same–I lifted up my arm as a sign that I was ready to talk about dinner. “Jonathan, you need one pot,” I said. “Fill it with an inch of water and talk to me when it’s boiling.” “OK,” he said. “Shuck 2 ears of corn and drop ‘em in. Cover the pot. Let them cook for four minutes.”
“Mom”, said Ferdinand, “do you know there is a snake that can swallow a pig whole or an alligator.” I did not. I had only ever seen a snake swallow a rat. Ferdinand was impressed.
The corn was done. “Now dump out that water, keep the corn on a plate, drizzle some olive oil in the pan, and two whole cloves of garlic, cut in half. “Done.” “Now take out a can of black beans and rinse them off. Keep rinsing; you have to rinse until the beans look like they’ve woken up. That’s right. I’m the teacher. Get an onion–a tight red one and cut it up pretty finely and get it in there with the garlic. Add some salt and a few leaves of flat leaf parsley. You done?”
He felt I was rushing him.
“I’m sorry. When you are ready..take out the coriander seeds, toast them in a separate little pan for one minute–watch them–and then crush them with the mortar and pestle. Taste the onion to see how delicious it tastes. Is it delicious?”
It was delicious.
“OK, add the coriander, add the beans, cut the corn off the cob, add that and here comes the important part: it’s all about the acid and salt. Turn off the flame now, and squeeze in the juice from half a lemon from the fridge, and then give it some salt. Now taste it. They should be like a tennis match–bam, badaboom, bam, badaboom–and you can’t take your eyes off of either one of them because one is as good as the other, and between them is just electric.”
“It’s good,” he said.
“OK, all right. Is it smooth, do you need a little extra drizzle of olive oil to bring it all together?”
Jonathan is a patient man. He gave it a little drizzle. Then he smashed up an avocado, gave it a minced clove of garlic, a squeeze of lemon and some salt. We had it all with corn chips, a few bitter green leaves of lettuce and beer.
Bless him.

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