As Summer floats

I wait.

I am stuck on a branch like yesterday’s fabric. I am not worried. I am waiting for the wind to change. Until then, I cook.

I bought deep black beans and let them soak until there was a swell. I rinsed them off and gave them a warm bath on a low simmer with a bay leaf, a wedge of onion, an ancho chile, and a slow spill of olive oil to make them tender and to add flavor that makes them unctuous. Not insincere in character-unctuous with fat. You need enough fat to warm the flavors up. Think how you feel when someone has built you a fire and you have eaten your dinner and they move over to be close to you. That is you, unctuous. That is what you need the beans to be. Towards the end, add the salt. Be patient. Add some, taste, and then add some more until they are right. Give them the bottom of a glass of red wine, or a spoon of red wine vinegar, a squeeze of lemon and a few shots of tabasco. Saute an onion with some finely sliced garlic, a sprig of rosemary, and a few sprigs of thyme, until the onions are completely tender. Add the beans to this and enough of the liquid to sauce them. Eat a slice of apple and taste the beans again. Think about what is missing. If they are exactly as they should be, that is it.

On the side, rice that finishes its cooking covered, and off the heat.

Green sauce of avocado, tomatillo, serrano pepper, garlic, cilantro and chive, with a little lemon or lime, olive oil and water to thin it out to the right consistency.

Charred pablano stuffed with cheddar or queso blanco and chives.

Seeded, chopped tomato with olive oil, salt, cilantro and chive.

Braised string beans with shallot and parsley.

The last corn on the cob, or if the corn is over, paper thin slivers of butternut squash, roasted with olive oil and salt until their edges are crisped and caramelized.

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