29.5.06

Beans, beans...musical fruit


Beans, beans, musical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot
The more you toot, the better you feel
So let's eat beans for every meal!

My step-dad loves to make people laugh. When I was a teenager, he used to love to embarrass me out in public. Pulling his hat down so that it met his eyebrows, sucking his lower jaw up so that his bottom lip completely encompassed his upper one and walking like an ape was a favorite past-time of his whenever we walked out of movie theaters. He would sing silly songs, like the one above, to make us giggle and make sure we would eat those funny looking legumes we often found on our dinner plates. His hugs were like wonderfully-suffocating bear embraces (and still are!), so that you were left gasping for air and "knowing that you were loved."

This goofiness evolved to include good-natured torturing of teenage suitors coming to our home when I reached dating age. He'd reach out to shake the poor boys' hands, engufing their tiny appendages in his enormous retired football player-sized hands (he played for the University of Colorado Buffaloes in college), invite them in to see his "gun collection" and show off his trophies for skeet and target shooting...in fact, at a recent wedding of a good friend of mine, when LB met one of my ex-boyfriends, the guy jokingly told him to be sure if he ever pissed my step-dad off, to be sure to "Run in a zig-zag!" There was also the annoying habit of his of flicking the outside lights on and off and on and off and on and off if I stayed out there too long after he heard the car come into the driveway. Luckily, I wasn't the only one whose boyfriends he picked on...my brother in law, Chip, the man who married my oldest sister, still has the endearing nickname of "Cow-chip."

Yo, cow-chip, how's about getting me another beer while you're up?

All of this, of course, drove me crazy when I was younger. But as I grow older and start thinking about what kind of a parent I'd like to be, I see the merit of this type of harassment...
My favorite joke of LB's - now Dr. LB - is his claim that the only people he'll really require anyone to use his credentials when addressing him, are the young men that come to court any future daughters: "Mr. LB? Mr. LB? I didn't spend 5 years getting a Ph.D. to be called 'Mr.," son - that's Dr. LB to you!" He he he...

Yep, my step-dad is one-of-a-kind. A unique individual - he helped me weed out the weak men in my life, and figure out the good, strong ones (he does like LB); he taught me the value of laughter as the best medicine for anything, and best of all, he taught me to eat my beans.

This recipe belongs to another dad I know, and one of the first gourmet home-chef's I ever met, even before I had realized my own love of food and cooking. My step-dad's specialty is "Taters- N-Onions" and Mickey-Mouse pancakes - those were the only two dishes we ever got when mom was out of town, but they were sure tasty in their own right. These I just call "Peter's Beer Beans." I've made them countless times, but I recently brought them to our Supper Club dinner to accompany homemade enchiladas and they went over really well. They're easy, and delicious.

Peter's Beer Beans, courtesy of Dr. Peter Fields
Serves 6.

2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, diced
1 bottle of beer - use a good beer, nothing too watery, but no stout (Sierra Nevada or Bridgeport IPA or any amber or pale ale works well)
2 tsp. sugar
2-4 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, saute onions in olive oil until translucent. Add beans to onion. Pour in 1/2 to 3/4 bottle of beer, then add sugar, vinegar (to taste), garlic cloves, and chili powder. Simmer, uncovered until beer is cooked down. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!



7 comments from you:

ilva said...

How embarrassing dads can be at a certain age, I remember mine, he didn't do things like that, he had his own style, but boy did he embarrass me!! But do you know Michelle, now that I have a teeneage daughter, I am very embarrassing myself and the worst thing is that i ENJOY it!
Interesting recipe!

vlb5757 said...

I love beans, but sadly they do not return the same love. Well at least not in the same form...you know what I mean. I still eat them from time to time as long as it's a lovely day outside...

Funny story about your step-father. What is it about fathers and their daughters? My dad's favorite thing was to flash the front door light when he could see me sitting in the car after a date. It would drive me nuts. I had two sons thankfully so I did not have to do anything like that, but that bedroom door always stayed open when my sons had a "friend" over. Can't drive them too nuts!

Nerissa said...

Beans refuse to love me but I love them. I've never had a beer-infused bean brew. Maybe that would stop Frog from making snide comments about beans. He loves beer after all.

As for dads, I think we all find dads to be embarrassing at some point. My dad was the kind who would stand at the McDonald's and complain to the manager that the fries he was given was not the same as the ones he saw on TV ... and got what he wanted!! Or, who whined and simperred about coming all the way to Knott's Berry farm from Canada to taste their famous pies... and got in. He bugged a girl at the donut shop that if he was going to pay for donuts he wasn't going to pay for empty air and demanded the dough from the holes as well. He got them... for free.
*sigh*

Kate said...

Ah, yes. My dad sang the song a little differently... "beans, beans, they're good for your heart..." and my friends were variously nicknamed Zandor, Motz, and The Pickle. I had the particular honor of being called variations of "Mongoloid," such as Monge (pronounced "Monj") or Loyd.

Your beans look great =)

rob said...

I don't give a damn whether beans cause... distress, I just love 'em. Thanks for the recipe, Michelle, and I don't suppose you could make a more generic recommendation for the beer?

michelle said...

Hi Ilva - oh, I think I'm going to enjoy it too...he he he...

Hi Vickie - Yep, they had the door rule too, and boy did that light flipping get to me! Yeah, beans have that 'musical effect' don't they - but they're just so tasty. Maybe it's like garlic, and as long as we're all eating them...???

Hi Nerissa - I like the new picture! That's you, huh? You're a cutie! Dads defintely are a strange bunch, but you've gotta love them for all their little idiosyncracies, right?

Hi Kate - I like the 'good for your heart song' - it's true! Nicknames are always fun - I think everyone I know has been dubbed something unique by dad!

Hi Rob - I love them too, butt music be damned! Any pale ale or amber ale should work fine - really, anything not too watery and not too stout.

Clare Eats said...

mmmm beans ;)

My dad is definately a teaser too...