Masa crusted potatoes with smoky red beans and greens, and honey-lime avocado cucumber salsa

Masa-dusted potatoes, red beans and roasted red peppers, and lime honey cucumber guacamole

Masa-dusted potatoes, red beans and roasted red peppers, and lime honey cucumber guacamole

One of the delightful things about my disintegrating eyesight is that when I read I’m no longer confined to the actual words on the page. When I read without glasses, who knows what the book really says? Not me! So I have a whole new world before me, in which the page contains whatever words I want it to–I get to choose! Sometimes at work I’ll overhear small chunks of conversations, and my brain will fill in the parts that are too quiet for me to pick up. Usually, the resulting discussion, in my head, is very funny (and frequently off-color). And now this effect has sidled over to my appreciation of printed matter. It says whatever I think it says. The other day I was reading the boys’ Rocks and Minerals books, as one does, and I came across a fascinating map of the world. It had little icons to show the various regions where people mine for things–I’m assuming coal and gold and the like, but I couldn’t tell you for sure because the writing in the legend was tiny. According to my eyes, one thing that people mine for throughout the globe is precious stories. Well! I like this idea a lot! I like to think of people traveling all over the world and mining for valuable tales, digging deep amongst the people that live in each region to come up with raw, beautiful chunks of legend. The icon for precious stories seemed to be in some very varied and interesting parts of the world, and in my imagination the stories are found in thick veins, running through all of the people there. People would come and set up camps, and they’d follow the story from one person to the next, probably never finding the end of it, because the myths would be as old as the rocks and would lie deep in the earth. Maybe they’d take it and refine it and polish it, or maybe they’d leave it in its original state, rough and strong. Farther along in the book, I misread a caption to read “metaphorical rocks.” And people would collect these, too, and string them together to make new stories. The metaphorical rocks would be prized and valued above diamonds and gold, which would be deemed pretty but relatively useless, when compared to a cherished tale. People would understand the value of a story to spark creativity, to heal, to transform, with these metamorphical metaphorical rocks.

Masa dusted potatoes

Masa dusted potatoes

I thought this was a really fun meal! First, I sliced some potatoes quite thinly, parboiled them, dusted them with rosemary and masa harina and then roasted them in olive oil. They came out with a nice texture–not super crunchy, exactly, but with more oomph. And they have the lovely subtle flavor of the masa harina. Then I roasted some red peppers, and combined them with red beans and spinach in a smokey sauce of chipotle and smoked paprika. And we added a bright light guacamole-salsa made with cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado lightly dressed with lime and honey. We topped it all off with grated sharp cheddar and pickled jalapenos, which my Malcolm loves! Any part of this meal would be good on its own, but it was very fun to eat all together as well.masa-potatoes-and-beans

Here’s REM with Maps and Legends.

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