Here’s Nina Simone, with Jelly Roll. She shines and glows, even when she’s wrapped in black. And Mos Def, with Umi Says His Umi told him to let his light shine onto the world…
Life is not promised
Tomorrow may never appear
You better hold this very moment very close to you
Very close to you
So close to you, So- close to you
Don’t be afraid, to let it shine
We’re going to David’s mom’s house for thanksgiving, and I’m bringing this double crusted pie. It has black beans, fennel, spinach, pecans, a bit of sharp cheddar, a peppery crust. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll let you know if everybody does a spit take when they taste it!
2 cups flour
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) frozen
1 t salt
lots and lots and lots of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup (+/-) ice water
Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Grate the frozen butter in, and mix with a fork till you have a coarse crumbly texture. Stir in the olive oil, and mix in the ice water, kneading slightly to be sure everything is well-combined and distributed. Wrap in foil and chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Meanwhile, prepare THE FILLING
2 T olive oil
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium-sized fennel, core and feathers removed, chopped quite fine
1 shallot – minced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 t rosemary
1 t sage
1 t thyme
splash of white wine
2 cups baby spinach, chopped fairly fine
1 t smoked paprika
pinch each mustard powder and nutmeg
2 pieces whole wheat bread, ground into crumbs
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
salt and plenty of freshly grated black pepper
1 egg – beaten
In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallot, cook for about a minute till it starts to brown. Add the garlic and herbs, cook for another minute. Add the fennel, stir to coat, and cook for about five minutes, till it’s softened and starting to brown. Add the black beans, stir and cook till they’re hot through. Add the splash of wine to loosen up anything that’s stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the spinach, the paprika, tamari, nutmeg and mustard and a few tablespoons of water. Stir and cook until the spinach is wilted, and the pan is quite dry.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in the pecans, cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Stir in all but about 1 T of the egg.
Preheat the oven to 425. Break off 3/4 of the dough and roll it to be about 1/4″ thick. Lightly butter and flour a springform pan or cake pan. Press the dough into the pan and up the sides, leaving a rim of about 1 inch. Spread the filling evenly into the pan. Roll out the remaining quarter of dough to be a circle about 1/4 inch thick and slightly bigger that the pan. Place it on top. Pinch the edges together and roll them down, slightly, then use a fork to press them against the sides of the pan to make a sort of rim. If you like, use some extra dough to make a pretty pattern. Brush the top lightly with egg.
Bake for about 45 minutes, till it’s puffed and golden. Let it cool slightly before you turn it out of the pan.
On Christmas Day, when I was a teenager (we don’t have Thanksgiving so I have to give a Christmas example) we used to go walking round the posh part of town after dark – and after we’d done the washing up, so that Mother could have a sit down – to look in through their windows, and count the number of Mercs and Beemers on their drives. And we used to say that none of those people had had a Christmas dinner anything like as good as ours. Because Mother was the best cook in the world!
One year my brother and his wife had her parents visiting at their house, so they came over too, and her brother called in unexpectedly, having just arrived from Tasmania. He’d been on the plane so long that he really did fall asleep with his head in the plate! (We woke him up though.)
I like your story of walking after dinner, too. It makes my little self feel less lonely! I hope your Tasmanian-travelling guest didn’t get food on his face!
Oh, he most certainly did!
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