Beans and rice, rice and beans, beans and rice

Back to basics.

Inflation rises, earnings fall.

Happily, literature has the answer.

There’s “On the Road,” by Jack Kerouac:

“You know what President Truman said,” Remi [Boncœur] would say. “We must cut down on the cost of living.”

And also, “Tortilla Flat,” by John Steinbeck:

Beans are a roof over your stomach. Beans are a warm cloak against economic cold.

Thus, yesterday I labored mightily and brought forth the plato combinado. Green chile chicken enchiladas, frijoles, and rice. Not pictured: The appetizer created by Herself; sliced avocado with halved cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. We will be gnawing on this carcass for days.

The mantra around here when money gets tight is “Beans and rice, rice and beans, beans and rice.” So there you have it. Go forth and do likewise.

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20 Responses to “Beans and rice, rice and beans, beans and rice”

  1. Sharon Says:

    Fortunate for me I love rice and beans and in-season fruits and veggies. Great photo. It’s time for lunch.

  2. Shawn Says:

    I grew up in a happy home with all the associative troubles and arguments, living on a single modest income. Somehow those great folks that raised me also taught / instilled / drilled into me, the appreciation for just having food on a plate in front of me. I can be pretty happy with most anything that a person has taken the time and effort to make. An exception might be to something like the generic white box of macaroni and cheese. Gag, cough, spit, ugh! So rice and beans are splendid. We made a large pot of chili last evening that we will enjoy again tonight and in the future with a large portion that we stuck away in the freezer.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The old man made a good wage in the Blue Zoomies, but he and Mom were both children of war and depression (Dad born in 1918, Mom in ’24). So while we ate high on the hog now and then, most of Mom’s cooking was pretty basic Midwestern fare. They were savers, not spenders.

      Well, Mom was, anyway. The O’Grady males are legendary for their inability to handle any quantity of money beyond a sawbuck (when sober). Otherwise we top out at a fiver.

  3. Sharon Says:

    …just finished reading, “The Four Winds.” Books like these have a way of helping to appreciate all that we have and people who came before who had naught.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    One of the things that keeps me in New Mexico is the variety of bean dishes. But other cultures have great bean dishes, too. I have to get my spouse’s Rajma Masala recipe (a Punjabi red bean dish) and post it here. Served with jasmine or basmati rice, its enough to make you forget chasing down the chickens, pigs, or cows, something that at one point in my life I thought was a big loss. Here is an online one.

    https://www.curiouscuisiniere.com/rajma-kidney-bean-curry/

  5. Pat O’Brien Says:

    One of my favorites is red beans and rice with turkey kielbasa .

    • khal spencer Says:

      One year when I was a kid, my paternal stepgrandfather brought over a turkey, live for Thanksgiving. My brother and I befriended it for several hours and then watched the execution in graphic detail. Kinda spoiled me on Thanksgiving that year.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        My father brought home a small pig. He was a sucker for rescuing animals of all kinds including the pig, squirrels, crows, one owl, and numerous dogs and cats. Cats he usually gave away quickly to friends or co-workers. Mom was not fond of cats in the house. The pig was named Squeaky. He was wicked smart and learned by watching the dog. So he would scratch at the back door to come in the house. When he rooted up Mom’s garden, he went off to the children’s petting zoo. I think it was called Lamb’s Farm by Chicago. Don’t eat pork sausage, or ham for that matter.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          We’ve gradually been decreasing the amount of meat in our diet. The pound of chicken thigh that I bought for these enchiladas will cover about four meals for two people.

          We also eat some turkey, and fish. No pork (the pig is Herself’s spirit animal). And very little red meat. Mom’s chile con carne recipe calls for ground round, but I generally go with a Pierre Franey version that uses white and dark turkey meat.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      There was some Cajun-style eatery on Colfax near Capitol Hill when I lived in Denver. Man, we ate there a ton, and the red beans and rice were what kept me coming back. I can eat some gumbo, me. And jambalaya too.

  6. John A Levy Says:

    Black beans, rice, and linguica sausage make great eats, My college friend was married to a first-generation Cuban and she made stuff twith chicken and cheap pork. Her rice was to die for and she had the spices from the old world smoked Spanish paprika and peppers Cajun cooking does it for me, shrimp etouffee, Gumbo, Red beans, and sausage all with sticky white rice. I am a unrepentant omnivore sorry to say.

  7. Michael Spak Says:

    Wondered if you had this in mind. I’ve been singing it all day.

    By the way, I stopped in at the Guthrie Center in Tulsa on the way to ‘cross worlds. Didn’t buy the Wobbly hat. The Center for Public Secrets was closed, but is probably worth a visit, too.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Kudzu records! If you ever lived in Georgia, you would learn to hate kudzu. Shit would grow one inch every day. I measured it. Pulled one of the underground runners right through a yellow jacket nest. Right up my jeans they a buzzin and a stingin. Took my pants off right in the front yard and started spraying myself off with a hose. Damn kudzu!

  8. Hurben Says:

    I hesitated to do this & it ‘s prior to when we washed up on these blessed shores…

    I just hope that drugs were involved…

  9. SAO' Says:

    Every birthday, Christmas, or general purpose card I ever received from my grandpa contained the sign-off “Beans and rice, Papa Joe.” Occasionally he’d add, “Get what you can but can what you get.”

    Hate saying “what this nation needs is …” but what this nation needs is more folks who lived through an honest to gawd depression.

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