Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Friday Friend Recipe #46: Mexican Beans

Friday Friend Recipe #46: Mexican Beans

Making my way thru my Friday Friend Cookbook, one recipe at a time.

What is the Friday Friend cookbook:   I have about 50 of my closest friends and family on an e-mail forum which I called the Friday Friends (from all over the county).  At first, most of them didn't know each other, (they knew me) but over the past 15 years, we've answered and shared silly--and serious---questions,  exchanged Secret Santa Christmas gifts,  had a dieting contest in which we paid a $1 a week and that money went to a scholarship fund for a Friday Friends son's memorial scholarship, and we went on a great vacation for my 52 birthday.

AND,  we contributed recipes for a cookbook.
Which brings me to this... recipe #46

My fabulous Mother-in-law's
Mexican Beans

To be honest, I had never had my mother-in-law's famous Mexican beans before.
We live 'away' from the family.
This could be the reason we love them so much and they love us so much!
I'm chuckling to myself, but there is a degree of truth to that I think.
The Handyman has always been a family favorite.
He's the firstborn, the big brother, the wise uncle, the favorite nephew.

I digress.  Again!
(i don't even know where I was going with that)
oh yes---her Mexican Beans.
She usually makes Italian dishes when we come home.  So, this was  a pleasant surprise to me, as they were very good.
You can make them as spicy as you like or not.
Sometimes we get tired of refried beans and like a whole bean/frijole to go with our Mexican meal.

Mexican Beans
Teresa Belcher
Pasco, Washington

1 lb pink or pinto beans
6 cups water
1/2 t ground cumin
2 garlic cloves
2 t. salt
2 t. bacon fat

Cover beans with water, add cumin and garlic and simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Add salt and bacon fat and cook until beans are tender.
Top with a little red pepper if desired.
Serves 6

Fried Beans
(frijoles fritos)

Heat 1/4 cup bacon fat or lard in a heavy pot. Add 4 cups of cooked beans, a few at a time, ans smash them into the fat. Add bean liquid and more beans until all are added and mashed. Cook, stirring occasionally, til beans are a thick mush.

Crisp Fried Beans
(frijoles refritos)

Use additional lard or bacon fat, the more the better, and cook beans until they are crispy around the edges.  These can have cubed jack cheese or fried chorizo added.

This is  my mother-in-law's 2nd appearance in the FF Cookbook.
As I said in that post, I am so lucky to be able to call my mother-in-law, my friend.

Years ago, I started collecting family history.
Getting the tree all in order and then listening to old stories, collecting  family memorabilia.
And I began writing letters to my parents and the Handyman's parents and asking them questions -- kind of like those journal's you can purchase called 'Grandma tell me  your story'. While they didn't take the time to write in a journal of their own, they would take the time to sit down and write me back a letter or email.
I've saved their answers and have them all in chronological order in notebooks.
(sigh--- oh gawd, what a dork I am)
BUT-- we have to  have a family historian in the family somewhere, don't we?
Oh wait--that is me. 

I hope to use Shutterfly (or some such program) to make a memory book for everyone, but for now...  I'll just share some answers.

My Mother-in-law
Teresa Marie Solaro (Stone) Belcher

seen here with most of her grandchildren at my father-in-law's funeral in September.

And here with her daughter's.
(it's a good thing they love me!!)
Being silly.
(horrible picture quality.  I stole it from someone who stole it from somewhere)

And she and my father-in-law at a granddaughter's graduation about 8 years ago.


from a journal, Feb 1st, 1999

( I must have asked if she liked banana splits, what her father did and what pastimes she did as a kid)

My mother-in-law wrote to me ( she also put her husband Phil's answers in here):
Yes, I did like Banana Splits, but I like hot fudge sundae's better.
Phil likes banana spilts once in a while he says.

My father was a railroad engineer when I was young.  He was engineer of the last Narrow Gauge Railroad in the country. They took it out during World War Two.
Phil's father was a fireman.

I can't think of a favorite pastime when I was young. I just seemed to always play with the neighborhood kids. We played everything; War, hide and seek, draw the frying pan on the old man's back, (I'll have to ask her about this one??) Kick the can, red rover, Mother may I?
We built stilts and then walked on them. We made rubber guns and then played war.
We made sling shots and tired it hit tin cans to see who was the best shot.
We had a creek on our property and we used to fish some-days.
We lived on the ranch and we jumped into the hay from the loft.
We had to be careful not to get caught or we would get in trouble.
We used to play marbles and jump rope.
I hardly ever did anything alone, but when I did, it was playing with paper dolls, reading comic books and Nancy Drew and listening to my favorite radio programs.

Phil's favorite pastime was riding his horse and reading.


I like her story.
I like my parents story.
I like my father-in-law's story.
I think I'll be including more stories from the journals when I feature one of their recipes.  For the family.

If I were to correlate their stories to a TV show,
My parents would be  Happy Days and a bit of  Mayberry
My Father-in-law, The Waltons
but my mother-in-law?
I'm not sure.
Part The Godfather and part The adventures of Ozzie and Harriet  and part The Twilight Zone????
(just kidding about the Twilight Zone.)

Maybe that is.
This is from April 21st 2000:
I haven't decided to haunt any special places after I die, but it does sound like fun and I will give it some thought.  I guess I will come back to wherever I am in the mood for at the time.  I  just haven't given this much thought.  JoAnn and May and I were going to come back to haunt each other and leave signs we were there, but I won't be able to do that because they are both already long gone.
I will give this more thought and keep you posted.

ooooooo ---  (insert Twilight Zone music)
You know what?  I'm going to call her and see if she's ever thought that JoAnn and May have come back to visit her!
(they were her best friends)

That's my story. 

1 comment:

Mel said...

Being from SoCal, I love "bean" anything. I am going to try this. Will let you know how it goes. Mel at mothersheeporganics

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