Resolutions, making healthy choices, street fights, and BLACK BEANS
At Mass this past Sunday the deacon made a good point during his homily. He said that unlike a wish, a resolution requires a plan and an action. How easy it is to say you are going to do something...to promise yourself you are going to get healthy this year. If you truly are going to make resolutions then don't just say them. Make a plan, and follow that plan with your actions. Don't just say "I am going to be healthy", say "I am going to exercise 3x a week, incorporate more vegetables into my diet, and limit sweets to weekends alone." It is so much easier to achieve our goals if we have an action plan to obtaining them...just like it is easier to get where you are going if you have a map.
So this year don't just make your resolutions, PLAN and ACT your resolutions. : )
I must say we already had a rocky start to 2012. My siblings and I were playing tennis on New Year's day when we saw a group of a about 10 kids (16-18yr old) break into a fight. At first we thought they were just joking as they threw out a slew of insults and horrible things at each other. Then we saw one kid holding what looked like a bat in his hand, and then the punches started. I did what any normal adult would do and started screaming at them to cut it out and stop acting like animals...yes, I know, I am so helpful in crisis situations : )
One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year...a mini colander ornament...LOVE!
My family reacted very quickly and we all changed into our super hero costumes. My brother Gunnar took off in a dead sprint towards the boys...there was a tennis court and pool in between us and them...I have never seen him run that fast. I continued screaming like a mad banshee woman shouting out commands to the people standing around...Nick..."GO GET DAD", Mimi..."SAVE THE CHILDREN"...please note that on the other court there was a group of 3 - 14 year old boys...Mimi directed them to safety. : ) Then I also broke into a sprint...which in all honesty was more like an old person learning to use their walker for the first time...very fast in my head, very slow motion in reality. Then for some reason I released my tiny dog from her leash thinking she would do what...yeah, not sure about that...I realized how dumb that was and started chasing the dog instead.
When my tiny slow legs finally got to the scene my brother had both guys on the ground. He had the guy on top in a headlock. He just sat on top of them both not saying anything, just holding them down. Keep in mind my brother is a solid 5'6 and these guys were much bigger then him. He just sat there holding them down while everyone was screaming. This is where I whipped out my super powers and starred the boy in the headlock deep into his eyes and bloody face. He sat there looking up at me as I yelled, "DON'T DO THIS...IT IS NOT WORTH IT...YOU ARE BETTER THEN THIS." I swear I saw the demons jump out of those boys as my exorcism totally worked.
The boys stood up ran to their cars and left with their groupies, and maniac girlfriends. Before they sped off I yelled very loudly that we saw their faces, had their license plate numbers, and called the cops...really smart to show them all my cards. I quickly jumped out of the way realizing that there was a good chance they would just hit us with their cars if they wanted or they might have guns. Smart move Dagny, real smart. The kids sped off and my Dad showed up on the scene, he jumped into his car with my sister and followed them down a dead end street.
Now there are 4 things that really bothered me about this whole thing.
1. That is was happening right next to our home. The crime rate has shot out the roof in our neighborhood, and it ticks me off that the neighborhood association won't do anything about it. We used to pay for a cop to patrol around the neighborhood, but they got rid of that a few years back.
2. That these kids looked like decent kids, and that they resorted to violence to solving their issues. Why has this become so acceptable? Plus, the language and words they were using, were empty and made no sense...use your words for good ding dongs!
3. Then the whole time this fight was happening one of the maniac girls was filming on her camera. No doubt that video was on facebook within minutes of happening...really, really? How sad is that.
4. Now the thing that really makes me mad is that we called the cops and they never came. Not only did we call them once but we called them 3 times and they told us it wasn't an emergency. Granted that the fight stopped, but my Dad had managed to follow all the kids find out their names and where they lived...plus he got 2 of the kids to get into his car and they spilled all the info on the other people involved. Maybe to some people it was just a lame fight...but to me it was people being a danger to themselves and to my neighborhood, and to my family. There was blood, there were pipes in their hands, and come to find out these kids had criminal records. At least show up and scare the kids.
To end a long story we spent most of the day waiting around for the cops. It is nice to know our tax dollars are helping pay to make our streets so safe. It is also comforting to know that if a bigger emergency happened the cops would be so swift to respond. Thanks, thanks for that.
This has nothing to do with being healthy, it was just an epic story and interesting start to 2012. So....make healthy choices, don't beat each other up, use your words for good, and make these beans for supper.
Simple Black Beans
2 cups dried black beans
2 TBS lemon juice
Cover beans with at least 3 inches water over the beans...add lemon juice. Soak overnight or at least 8-12 hours.
Next day: Drain and rinse black beans, and set aside.
Coat the bottom of large heated soup pot with about 1 TBS olive oil. Over medium heat saute the following about 3-4 minutes:
1 large onion (diced)
1 TBS garlic (chopped)
1 whole jalapeno (I used 1/2 of a roasted hatch pepper instead)
Then add the beans back into the pan. Stir with veggies. Cover with the following:
8 cups liquid (I used a 1/2 and 1/2 combination of water and chicken broth)
You can use chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water. Bring to a boil and cook until beans are tender...this ended up being about 45 minutes over a medium heat. Stir the beans every once in a while. If the liquid seems to be evaporated too much add some more. You don't want the beans to stick to the bottom of the pan during the cooking process. Once tender add salt (I used a tsp.) and remove the jalapeno with tongs...or give it to someone who likes hot food as an early Christmas present. Once cooked you can do so many things with them:
1. eat them with rice
2. eat them with a tortilla and some cheese
3. eat them with some chips
4. eat them with some salad
5. make them into refried beans
6. put them in soup
7. mix them with chicken apple sausage and call it a meal
8. dress them up and take them out
Flopsy looking pretty fly in her new winter vest
If you have a big enough pot you can double this recipe. Freeze the extra and take out for a quick weeknight meal.
On the topic of salting beans before or after cooking them:
Experts have been arguing about this fact for centuries now. Pretty sure Helen of Troy had something to do with this issue. I don't claim to be an expert, but I have cooked many a pot of beans and have decided that it is better to salt the beans AFTER they have been cooked. I find that salting them before makes them mushier and they do not hold their shape as well...so basically if you salt your beans before cooking them you will end up with mashed beans whether you like it or not.