Sunday, May 18, 2008

Brazilian-Style Black Bean Stew (Page 269)

  • Date: Saturday, May 10, 2008 -- 7pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Dining Companions: Matt, Mike, Matty, Ricky, Ana, Craig, Grace, Alex, Gunther, Angelica, Jenny, Vero, and Pam
  • Recipe Rating: B+

I was a little worried that some people would not want an all-mayonnaise meal at the mayo tasting last weekend, so I figured I would throw together a big pot of something else for people to eat. I have been eying this simplified version of Brazilian feijoada for quite some time, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to test it out. It was pretty good. I love black beans (and also bacon, beef, and chorizo) so it was hard to go to wrong with this recipe! The stew had a delicious slow-cooked flavor and the beef chunks were falling apart tender. I had two minor issues with the stew though. One, despite all the delicious ingredients, it still came out a touch bland. I heavily seasoned with salt, but that only did so much to remedy the problem. I think the addition of more jalapenos and more orange juice might have helped matters. My other critique is that the ratio of meat to beans was too low. It was possible to ladle yourself an entire bowl of this stuff without getting any chunks of beef or chorizo. The meat was extremely tasty, and the dish would have been better had there been more of it. All that said, people generally liked this stew. Matty and I ate the leftover stew for lunch all week, and it only got better after a couple days in the fridge.

This recipe isn't online.

For Christmas my special gentleman got me a lovely ring, with five big colored stones in the shape of a flower. The largest stone in it was an amethyst. Sometime between dinner last night and breakfast this morning, the amethyst came out of its setting, and now it's gone! We looked and looked for it, but I did a lot of dishes last night without the drain catch in, so the chances are good that it fell out and went down the drain. I took off my ring this morning (it looks so sad without one of the stones). I put that ring on at Christmas, and haven't taken it off since. So now it feels very odd to be without it.

I was engaged to be married once, several years ago, and I had a beautiful engagement ring that I was very attached to. When my fiance and I split, obviously the ring had to come off. It was such a strange sensation not wearing it any more. My thumb would naturally rub the back of my ring finger, something I guess I always did without noticing just to check that my ring was there. For weeks, when my thumb hit my bare finger I would have brief seconds of panic, thinking that my ring had fallen off before realizing that indeed I had removed it. I found that noticing it was gone over and over again was very painful. In retrospect I should have just bought myself some other ring and worn it on that finger for a while, but at the time I didn't have the presence of mind to do so.

I was reminded of that today, as I kept having those same little moments of panic that my ring was gone... Turns out that those moments are much more bearable when there is no emotional pain attached to them though.

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