Monday, December 19, 2011

I Gave New Meaning to "A Mess of Beans"

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I like to experiment in the kitchen.  I love combining different flavors, modifying recipes and trying new things.  Some of my best dishes were created on impulse or by accident.  And some have ended up as inedible disasters!
My husband, James, doesn't talk much about my cooking--at least not in my presence.  However, if I ever make something he doesn't like or something that's "not quite right", he will, in a gentle manner, let me know.  And just as in most other aspects of life, you learn some of your most valuable lessons in the kitchen by making big mistakes.
One of my biggest blunders in the kitchen happened when Jaxson was a baby.  James was working for a construction company and we would take lunch to him every day so he could enjoy time with his little boy on his lunch break.  I would usually pack a lunch consisting of left overs from our meal the night before.  I'm known to get a little creative with left overs too.  That way, you don't feel like you are eating the same thing over and over again. 
On that day, I had some left over roast and pinto beans in the fridge.  So I decided to chop up some of the roast, add barbecue sauce and make barbecue sandwiches.  There were several times I had either heard the phrase or seen in magazines or on menus "barbecue beans".  So I added some barbecue sauce to the beans, as well.  I packed up our lunch "fixins", filled up the tea jug and we were off!
After we arrived at James' work site, he hopped in the car and quickly wolfed down a sandwich.  The beans were still a little hot from heating them up, so he opened up the lid to let them cool off while he played with Jaxson.  All of a sudden, I picked up a rather strong menthol-ey scent. 
I asked James, "Do you have a cold?"
He looked at me rather oddly and said, "No.  I feel fine."
Then he took his first bite of beans.  He stopped chewing, looked up at me with a furrowed brow and spit the beans back into his spoon. 
He had a rather twisted expression on his face when he asked me, "Did you put Vicks in these beans?"
Then we both started laughing!  To this day, I don't know what caused it, but some sort of chemical process occurred by mixing pinto beans with barbecue sauce that made them smell and taste like Vicks Vapo Rub.  Perhaps it was the flavor of barbecue sauce or maybe it had reacted with the small amount of baking soda I added to the beans to reduce the "gaseous" after effects of the beans.  Who knows?  But I can assure of this, I have never and will never add barbecue sauce to pinto beans EVER again!  I won't add baking soda either!
A lot of memories can be made through food--good AND not so good.  We always have a good laugh any time I ask James what he wants for supper and he replies, "I don't care, just not any Vicks n' Beans!"
Much Love & Happy Cooking!