I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Taking back red bean sauce

OK. Now comes the soap box portion of this blog. Every once in a while something must be said. Tonight is one of those nights. I read the NY Times today. It is a tradition for me. I think the NY times is the absolute best paper in the world. In fact I am a subscriber! I bet some of my readers are shocked and awed. Want to be totally shocked and awed? I have been a daily NPR listener since the age of 12 - a total of 21 years.

There was an article on the front page lamenting the fact that a few isolated radio personalities have the gall to say something controversial in the wake of the Imus scandal. Confessions come in threes, much like tragedies and celebrity deaths. So here goes - True confession: I am an AVID Howard Stern listener and have been since I first heard him in 1996 - 11 years. I can hear the hate mail popping into my inbox right now.

Anyway the article got me thinking. What happened to the idea that there are things that are appropriate for children and there are things that are appropriate for adults. Must everything be the Disney version? Take for example the case of lions, as portrayed by Disney.
If we are to believe Disney, lions are noble creatures that have inborn ideas of honor and loyalty. Reality check: lions eat baby animals alive with no regard to the baby's pain and suffering. Moreover, lions eat humans alive and eat their own baby lions alive if it serves their purposes. That is the difference between the adult version of what lions are and the kid's version of what a lion is.

Not everything has to make the world seem all lovey and cuddly to kids. Remember Grimm's Fairy Tails? Having read the entire collection, it seems to me that the fairy tails are meant to prepare children for the world while they are in the safety of the family. Kids need to understand that there are people in the world who want to take advantage of them. Kids need to understand that the world is a hard place in which to live. Nothing is going to change the world, but you can prepare the kid for the world. It is great to shelter them as much as possible but they need to be ready when the S--- hits the fan.

Kids need to understand that there are things that are appropriate for adults and there are things that kids can enjoy with adults. It is appropriate for a child to enjoy reading a bedtime story with a parent. It is not appropriate for a kid to enjoy alcohol, even with an adult. Here is where red bean sauce comes in. If a kid sees me eating red bean sauce on my enchiladas, the kid will definitely want red bean sauce. Upon a request for said bean sauce, I will reply "red bean sauce is too hot for kids, it is for adults." Any normal kid would be infuriated by that response and attempt to obtain red bean sauce. What better way could there be for a kid to learn to that there are things appropriate for adults than if the kid ignored the advice and tried the red bean sauce anyway, with the natural consequence of an inflamed tongue?

I remember when I was a kid I went to Godfather's Pizza. I wanted to try the crushed red pepper on my pizza. My mom said: "no its too hot. You'll burn your tongue. Red peppers are for adults." She let me make the mistake of trying it and I never forgot the result. I spent the next hour with my tongue in a glass of water. I was at Chuckwald E. Cheese's a few months ago. I was aghast at what I saw. There were 3 year olds loading up their slices with dried crushed red pepper. I was amazed. I tried the crushed red pepper and it was completely castrated. There was no fire at all. I think they must have taken red bell peppers, dried them, and then crushed them. How ridiculous is that? All the while I was saying to myself - "I'd like to see some of these brats sprinkle my home grown red peppers over their pizza."

It is time to bring red bean sauce back to the adult level. When I was a kid I knew better than to put red bean sauce on my burrito. It was for adults. Period. This red bean sauce is a throwback. If you give this red bean sauce to your Boston Terrier, here is what you will get:
If you give this red bean sauce to your toddler here is what you will get:
Lets bring red bean sauce back to the realm of the adult!

Adult Red Bean Sauce

1 small can Old El Paso enchilada sauce - hot
2 jalapeno peppers, with seeds, diced
2 chipotle peppers, with sauce, finely diced
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 T your favorite hot sauce
1/2 jar Pace picante sauce, HOT
1 can pinto beans, drained

Dump everyting into a sauce pan, cover, and simmer 1/2 hour. Don't give this to children, the infirm, or anyone incapable of handling some SERIOUSLY spicy food.


Here is a baby who knows better than to eat red bean sauce.