Sunday, February 6, 2011

February 4, 2011

Food is thought. It is the concepts and ideas of what has been, what it is now and where it's going in the future. It has been this way for all our lives. It is an individual basis that is passed on to generations with many hills and valleys, traffic jams, intersections, stop signs, accidents and traffic tickets. The meals of our lives are also a reflection of the past. They are driven from our childhood memories: a place deep in our hearts that we can physically and mentally go back to in times of honor, love and respect. I think that for many of us, the father has been the steering wheel for most of our lives. He often determined whether right or left turns were made. The climate controlled vehicles that we travel in today, has made us want to just roll down the windows and let the wind blow. Let it flow. Let it find our past again as a child. The father is often the one who simplified life. "You'll understand one day", my dad would say. The words would go in one ear and out the other. No laughing. No crying. No time for thought. Just Hot Wheels rolling on the tracks. He drove me crazy with his "I told you so's" and "If I had a dime for every time" stories. The intersections of life! Do you stop? Do you keep driving on that highway all night long? The end of the innocence is upon us all. Our fathers taught us well. It was not always the best of times. There was often a place to call your own. The friends over for pizza. The long walks after dinner with distant relatives. Words were spoken. I still have those Hot Wheels. They keep me driving. I've taken a many of wrong turns in my life. We all learn. We all grow. There has been no turning back. I keep driving. Everyday! The padding on my steering wheel is whithered. The oil stains in the driveway are beautiful after a slow rain.A spectrum from the past. We look at it and wonder. We close our eyes and think of nostalgia and circumstances. This recipe is for my father and to many other fathers.

Northern Beans Over Cornbread

1 pound of northern beans
6 cups of water
1 large piece of salted pork
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight or all day in a pot full of water. Drain and then add 6 cups of fresh water. Bring the pot to a boil and add the pork. Turn down to simmer and let the beans cook over low heat for about 90 minutes, with a slightly lidded pot. Make your favorite cornbread. It's your father, so make this as salty or sweet as needed. When the cornbread and beans are done, cut the cornbread in half and place in the center of the plate. Spoon the beans and broth over the cornbread and season lightly with salt and pepper. Enjoy! Thanks Dad.

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