Whatever the reason, I do have a strong reader-base of smart women. Why is this important? Because today I reveal a story of my very early days of marriage. A time of innocence in a the land of milk and honey. I will be asking for some feedback at the end of this story...I need to know if my fans can see my side and agree that I did nothing wrong. This is "The Bean Story."
A long time ago, in a land far far away, Nelly and I lived in harmony: we were Newlyweds. We lived in the area known as "The Triangle" in North Carolina. Life was grand living in the South. All the children called us "ma'am" and "sir," the ladies wore sundresses and big hats, the men were weekend warriors. A hot Salvadorian and Sexy-Mexi (yes, that is me) fit in just fine...though most people thought I was black or in the Marines...and everyone assumed Nelly was a nanny.
Being a newly-wed meant that things were a bit different. Before all of today's running about with tournaments, practices, play-dates, science fairs, dance recitals...we actually had time to sit down for dinner together. I remember my Latin Hotness (Nelly, not me) would call me at work and ask, "Sugar-bear, what would you like for dinner tonight?" Like clockwork she would call me every day. Almost every day I had the same response, "Kitten-whiskers, I think I'm in the mood for chilidogs and tatertots." We must have went through 350 cans of Hormel that year. And who doesn't like tatertots!?! They are little golden-fried pieces of heaven.
Ahhh, life was grand....then one day...I veer off course...and things have never been the same. One particular afternoon while I was slaving away for the firm, my Honey Muffin calls me to inquire about our dinner plans. I still opted for the franks n' tots, but I asked for something different next week. I believe I said something along the lines of, "Apple-dumpling, do you think we can have beans? We haven't had them for so very long. What do you think?" Being the awesome, hot, newly married wife, Nelly says, "of course!"
Next week's dinner was set! I'd have a big pot of beans and I'd eat like a king! Well like a peasant, but you know what I mean.
I had never cooked beans and neither had Nelly. We had some thoughts around this, but figured we should ask the experts. This was before "google" existed so we had to revert to caveman style of searching. We had to talk to people. So I call my mom and sister and Nelly calls her mom. We have a game plan. We know what to do. We are set.
It's at this point that I need to pause - I need to explain something before we go any further. We all know that Nelly is from El Salvador. We know that I'm of Mexican descent. It stands to reason that we know beans. I grew up having beans with every meal:
- Breakfast: cho-reets-o, tortillas, and beans
- Lunch: fried weenie, tortilla, and beans
- Dinner: steak, potato, salad, and beans
Back to the story
After an exhausting day at work, I come home to my lovely wife and beautiful daughter. The aroma of freshly stewed beans fills my wondrous home. I walk into the kitchen and passiontely kiss my wife hello. I bend down and kiss my lil girl. I walk over to the pot of beans, take a look, pause quizzically and say, "those don't look like the beans my mom makes."
It turns out that Salvadorians eat Red Beans ..... and I grew up on Pinto Beans (frijoles). There was no compare/contrast of cooking styles...there was no mention of my mom's beans being superior (as they are not)....there was no criticizing of the cooking methodology....there was no "tone"....there was only sheer and utter amazement that more than one type of bean existed.
This happened many years ago before my many travels. This was before my time in New Orleans, eating Red Beans n Rice. I hadn't yet been to Guadalajara to understand the many varieties of beans. I had not yet had Chilean style barbecue with an assortment of beans. In short, I had never seen a Red Bean in my life.
I now implore the court to render their verdict. To once and for all clear me of all charges. To understand that my question came from absolute befuddlement when coming upon a pot of Red Beans. For the record, my wife makes the best beans and rice, not my mom, not my tia. My wife adds that extra ingredient: Love.
Welcome me back, Cyberspace. I know you missed me. You're welcome!