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Bean Salsa and a little Vacation in Vactionland

August 21, 2011

The past two weeks, we took our annual venture North to visit family and friends. Both AAM and I have strong family ties to Massachusetts. My father was born and raised in Worcester, hence my tortured childhood as a Red Sox fan in DC, and his sister’s family still lives there. AAM’s parents, despite meeting in Japan, both grew up in the Boston area, and AAM’s sister moved back after college. Once a year or two, we will drive up to visit AAM’s sister’s family, and then head for AAM’s old family farmhouse in Maine, in the lakes region. The drive up 95 can test your nerves, but the relaxing vacation in a wonderful place is worth the journey.

Since several generations of AAM’s family lived in it, the farmhouse is a fun place to explore. One night we looked through old family books and bibles, finding the family bible that pre-dated the American Revolution. We found my favorite: retro kitchenware. In fact, we found the very Pyrex set that I had been stalking on ebay, which his parents let us take back for our new kitchen. The garage had old grocery produce boxes, possibly from when his great-grandparents ran a store in Dorchester. We also found old recipe books, which I love to leaf through. Looking at the jelly molds, creams, and dishes that sounds like the name of a British estate, I love thinking about how much American food has diversified over the last sixty years.

After a few days of showing Serafina her family past, her family present arrived. AAM’s sister, brother-in-law, and three children came to play. We tried a few new recipes (will be posted over the next few weeks), played away rainy days, and swam in the lake. Serafina spent time with her cousin twin, who is only one month older than her, but just as much trouble.  Since I don’t show faces on the blog, I cropped this photo so you could see their hysterical beach attire.

Serafina, who is just learning to speak, wore R2D2, and her cousin, a seasoned talker, sported "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?"

When SMB and her family arrived, after fighting Maine summer traffic, we wanted to have dinner ready for them. We made a mild version of my Enchilladas (click for recipe), without the potatoes or spicy-ness for the children, with Rooster sauce for the adults. Last minute, I realized that we only had medium salsa, so I made this mild kid-friendly salsa, that my nieces seemed to enjoy. Feel free to add sweet peppers or hot peppers, which I usually do depending on what is in the fridge.

Basic Bean Salsa

  • 1/2 can of black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cob of corn, boiled and cut off the cob
  • 1 cup of grape tomatoes sliced
  • 1/2 cup of red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper

1. Take your ingredients, stir together well and serve

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