Dancing Beans

I keep referencing Ghostbusters II around here to describe how I feel about this toxic election. Remember the 1989 classic—the river of pink slime underneath New York City and how it kept growing and growing, literally feeding off people’s negative vibes?

Even when I take a conscious and deliberate break from political media outlets and/or social media, the drama of this election still finds me and usually upsets me. At night, when Teddy takes his bath, we often FaceTime my mom, who says she won’t vote for Hillary. [UPDATE: We got a response from my mom in the comments section below. She is "unknown." She wants to make it clear she's not voting for Trump either. With 18 days left 'til the election...maybe we can get another update from her that she's going whole-hog Democrat?! One can dream!] It takes everything in my whole body not to steer the conversation away from Teddy’s bath-time toy adventures and toward my outrage at Trump’s latest offensive remark and/or the people who refuse to denounce them. (But sometimes, I have to anyway.)

Enter: this video by Celia Rowlson-Hall and Mia Lidofsky. Never in my life had I wanted so badly to put on a pantsuit and dance, dance, dance. It reminded me how important it can be to move our bodies. It reminded me that sometimes we have to seek out joy. But mostly, it got me dancing.

Slow-Simmered Pinto Beans
Serves 8

1 lb. dried pinto beans, rinsed
2 tablespoons lard/bacon fat/ or olive oil
10 sprigs cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 jalapeno, slit lengthwise
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tomato or 4 to 5 cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt, to taste
1-2 limes
avocado, sour cream, corn tortillas or tortilla chips to serve

Combine beans, lard, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, onion, tomato, cumin, cinnamon and 7 cups water in a large dutch oven. Boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about 3 hours. Pour over the juice of one lime and at least two teaspoons of salt. Taste. It very well may need another teaspoon or two of salt.

Serve in bowls with a large dollop of sour cream, some avocado slices, lime wedges, and either tortilla chips or warm corn tortillas.


Matthew said...

Yessss dance party this weekend and until November 8th.

Neal said...

Why are you wearing a HRC shirt in the video? I mean, whenever we hang out, you always wear your latest DJT shirt.

Petrone said...

Ooof, the political divide between parents and their children this election has been especially rough. Luckily we're complex beings and we can adore our family members AND be disheartened/disappointed by their opinions at the same time. But still, it's painful and Election Day can't get here soon enough.

Amelia Morris said...

@Neal I think you're referring to my "I [stomach] other people's opinions sort of." shirt. Right??

@Petrone I'm only occasionally complex. ;)

Kristen Iskandrian said...

Love love love! The beans, the message, the candidate--all of it!

Ms.Nožisková said...

Haven't checked in for quuuite a while, but am delighted & surprised to find "Pantsuit Power" at the tip top! My sister was on the styling team - and since our closets don't have much in common with 1983, "putting on a pantsuit" before the dance, dance, dance was actually quite the feat!! More accessible was people's sense of wanting to be for something - to participate politically in a way that actually felt positive and jubilant. Glad that came through & got you in the mood to dance!

leslie said...

Unfortunately, I fear that supporting Trump shows too much about a person and it's going to be hard putting that genie back in the bottle after the election. Family or friends alike, supporting Trump tells a lot about a person and it's not good. Ugh!

Unknown said...

I also won't vote for Trump so tell people that not just that I won't vote for her. I generally don't love beans but these I think I will try.

Jennifer Ring said...

that video made me cry. god i can't wait for november 9th. beans are good comfort - thanks for both!

Carmen said...

i am a big fan of the dance party, the cooking and eating process (especially with family and friends) and the general positive vibe you are always putting out into the cyber world. thank you

Unknown said...

Love this site, recipes, and the dancing. My son will be driving soon. When he was little, we spent many afternoons dancing. Good memories.

Mimi said...

I was inspired to make these beans and it's true! These are so tasty they distract from the political muck and make you want to dance. I'm with her! And I'm with these beans.

Katie Athaide said...

This vid almost brought me to tears :) Love the dancing and can't wait to make a hot pot of stewy beans! In the meantime I'll get my stretchy pants ready and start fluffing hte pillows on my couch :) :)

Unknown said...

I was thrilled to see your T SHIRT and it gives me hope that I will make it until November 8th - maybe I should try dancing more in my kitchen like you and Teddy to get me thru the last days of this insanity!

Unknown said...

I had a pound of rancho Gordon beans in my cabinet and political tremors from the stress of this election season to fill the house. These beans were just the thing to get me through my Wednesday (and another night this weekend hopefully). Thanks for the lovely recipe!

Chriss said...

My Dear Amelia!! I really enjoy your recipes and posts.
My beans didn't get completely cooked...going to make them again and add more water until they are cooked through. Sound like a good idea??
I ended up putting them in a chicken chili (where they were simmered more and then crock-pot heated all day) to send with my hubby deer hunting and the guys LOVED it - best chicken chili they've had, they said!!
Thanks for the recipes and smiles...keep 'em coming!!

Amelia Morris said...

@Chriss Yes, that's exactly the right idea. I probably should've added the note that when you're simmering, if the water looks like it's getting too low and your beans aren't tender yet, add more! So glad the beans didn't go to waste though. Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by. xoxxo