This weekend I took temporary custody.
Of a belly button.
I kid you not.
But when you meet someone (and worse, when you're related to someone!) who wants to take their cute tiny 16 year old belly button and POKE.TWO.HOLES.IN.IT.
You have to take matters (and umbilici) into your own hands. It's a legal obligation. And a sisterly right.
I mean...I tried to say all the usual rational discouraging things.
"Do you really think you're going to want this when you're 80?"
"No boy is ever going to like you with a ring stapled through your stomach!" (ha. right.)
"Because I said so, THAT'S why."
To no avail.
So then I finally just had to take the damn thing away from her.
Lessons had to be learned.
Belly button rights had to be revoked...
...she can have it back when I deem her old enough to care for it responsibly. I'm thinking...45? 62? You know...right about when I let her get married and move in with a boy.
That seems reasonable.
No offense to any belly button piercing proprietors out there. But I bet you had a better reason then, "Duh, Jo. Because it's cool" when your older sister/mother/aunt/best friend sat you down and
And if not...just don't write about it in the comments. And especially don't say that getting it was the best decision of your life. Sisterly eyes are everywhere...and she doesn't need any more encouragement than I'm sure her best friends are already giving her.
Besides. After much Easter Sunday arguing (just, you know...getting in the holiday spirit!) we compromised on a second piercing in her ears. And I'd much prefer not to revisit that screaming match with her now yelling, "BUT YOUR BLOG READERS SAID I COULD!" If at all possible.
Sparring with teenagers is exhausting. Let's eat some beans. (Iron = ENERGY!!)
Giant chipotle white bean casserole of heaven, to be precise.
I don't know how that woman does it, but Heidi Swanson manages to take the most simple of ingredients and turn them into something you want to dive headfirst into and never come up for air. Here, she mixes giant white beans with a chipotle-infused tomato sauce, a leafy green (more iron!) and tops it all off with queso fresco and cilantro pesto. Trust me...if you have children of any shape or form in your life (and even if you don't!) you need this in your life.
First of all, because after one bite you won't care at all about anything that's going on in the real world, and instead will focus all your concerns on how you can make it so that you never stop eating this. Ever and anon. And second of all, because after eating this...you'll have so much energy that you'll be ready for round two of the belly button war of 2012. And we all know that there's probably going to be a rounds two through thirty-five. Teenagers can be relentless. Especially when you're holding their belly buttons hostage.
Believe that when that gun goes off on Sunday and you have to run around Central Park's rolling hills, not once, but twice...that everything will be okay. Race mode will take over. And you'll just...go. Running, walking, crawling.
Whatever it takes.
Giant Chipotle White Beans
Serves 4, adapted from 101 Cookbooks
- 1 lb large dried white beans (I used giant lima beans!), soaked overnight or up to 24 hours
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 big pinches of red pepper flakes
- 2 pinches of salt
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano
- 1 1/2 tbsp adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 tbsp water
- salt, to taste
- 1 bunch swiss chard, de-stemmed and torn into strips
- 4 oz queso fresco, crumbled
- 1/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs
- To prepare the beans, drain and rinse them after they've soaked overnight. Put them in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and turn down to a simmer. Cook until just-tender, which, depending on your beans, can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours. Drain and set aside.
- In the meantime, make the tomato sauce. Combine 1 tbsp olive oil, the red pepper flakes, salt, and garlic in a cold medium saucepan. Stir and heat over medium high heat. Saute 45 seconds or until everything is fragrant, and pour in the tomatoes. Stir in the fresh oregano and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, remove from the heat and add the adobo sauce. Taste for salt and spice level. Set aside.
- Make cilantro pesto by combining 1 clove garlic, cilantro, 1 tbsp olive oil, and water in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425. In a 9x13-inch baking pan or a dutch oven, toss the beans with the tomato sauce and swiss chard. Top with the cheese, breadcrumbs, and cilantro pesto. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Serve.