by Tina Stone
"...And the two shall become as one..."
|"What are you gonna make dear?" He asked as he sat at the kitchen table watching me curiously.
" We are having Mexican Lasagna," I said, "I'm just about to make some refried beans." I have my cast iron skillet on the stove, a few cans of black beans, the butter and was getting the seasonings I'd need.
"Those are black beans," He points out.
"Yeah, I know. But I can't use the kidney beans cos we are supposed to have chili later this week and the white navy beans are for cooking with that ham bone we have leftover from Easter." I explained.
"I ain't never had black refried beans before," He says with a hint of defiance in his tone. I continue gathering my supplies and getting my casserole dish out that I was going to need. I hand him a package of flour tortillas.
"Here, can you tear those into pieces?" I ask. "I know, I've never made black refried beans either, but they are the only beans we have and I need refried beans for my recipe. I think once it's combined with everything else, it will taste just fine. Black beans are used in lots of Mexican dishes."
He rips a few tortillas slowly. Thinking.
"Well I ant gonna eat it," He says finally. "You don't make refried beans with black beans."
"Baby, a bean is a bean," I say, turning around to look at him. My hand on my hip. "We didn't get to the store so I have to improvise. It's all going into a casserole anyway, so it's not going to make that much difference."
"No, I ain't gonna eat it and if you put it in the casserole I ain't gonna eat that either." He declares with finality.
"You're being ridiculous!" I tell him. "Black beans are a staple of Mexican cooking.
"My Mama ain't never put black beans in refired beans," He yells as if that was the final word.
"Your Mama wasn't Hispanic!" I said, raising my voice to match his.
"Neither are you!" He shouts.
"But I know enough about Mexican cooking to know how to use a freaken black bean!" I yell back.
"I'm Not Eating It!" He yells and stands up ready to leave the kitchen.
"FINE" I yell. "If you're going to be so pig-headed and stubborn you can do without dinner!" I yell and then, because my Irish temper was at boiling point, without a word I reach over and throw open the window above the sink near the stove. I pick up a can of black beans and toss it out the window. Then I grab another one.
"What the hell are you going!" He yells, with his hands on his hips glaring at me. I toss another can out the window.
"If you ain't gonna EAT the beans, I aint gonna COOK the beans!" I yell. And pitch another can of beans out the window with all my might.
"In fact, Fred Stone, Don't you dare ever bring another bean into this house again!" I yell and since I ran out of black beans to throw out the window I stalk over to the cabinet and grab anything resembling a bean and start pitching them out the window.
"I'm not picking those up," He says as he watches me throw cans of beans out the window. I run out of canned beans so I start grabbing the packages of dried beans.
"I didn't ASK you to pick the dang things up. If I wanted them up, I wouldnt be throwing them away in the first place Mr. Picky Bean!" I yell.
"I'm not picky. I just know black beans do not make refried beans!"
"Don't worry about it! You will never eat another bean in this house again as long as we live!!" I yell. I'm completely out of things to throw by this time, but my temper is still at full boil. So, I grab the loaf of bread and jar of peanut butter. Fred glares at me silently watching me. I start making a peanut butter sandwich.
"What are you doing?" He asks.
"Well, I sure as heck ain't cooking beans!" I snap at him. I pour coffee. I go to the fridge and rummage around for the carrots and apples. I begin to slice up an apple. Fred silently sits down at the table. I refuse to speak to him. He starts making himself a sandwich. Wordlessly I hand him an apple. We eat our dinner in silence. Then without saying anything I get ready for bed and take my blanket and pillow and stretch out on the couch with one of the cats. Fred glares at me with his hands on his hips but he doesn't say a word.
The very next morning, I wake up to him cooking breakfast in the kitchen. I barely open my eyes and he rushes to bring me a cup of coffee.
"Hey Baby, your awake," He says. "I made your favorite. I made homemade biscuits, sausage, and redeye gravy. I'll fix you a plate if you go wash up." I don't say anything. I go wash my face, brush my teeth and try very hard not to grumble.
I go sit down at the table and sure enough, he puts a plate down with biscuits covered in crumbled sausage and gravy and scrambled eggs. He even gives me a fresh cup of coffee. He sits down with his own plate full of food. It doesn't take him long to have me talking and soon we are chatting up a storm like always about our plans for the day.
Later, when we go out to head to the car, I notice there's not a single can of bean on the lawn. Neither one of us ever spoke about the bean incident again. In the 8 years, we've now been married, I've cooked black beans a variety of ways, but never have attempted to make them into refried beans again.