This years birthday hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt much older than I ought to and didn't quite know how best to deal with that, so I cried lots and then I danced as though no one watched. Cliche, yet, m likelyno one watched. No one except my son, who waved his giant drumstick around as if he were a miniature ginger caveman on a rampage, and proceed to shake his money maker right next to me almost the entire time. Nothing feels better than warm sun, good people, and a small child lolling around on your back. He just kicked it with me. Nothing seemed to phase him, until we ran out of cash and he cried hunger. The giant drumstick saved us all. Picture to follow.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass kicked my ass up one side and down the other. Should you ever find yourself blessed with the opportunity to see Elvis Perkins in Dearland live, by gosh and by golly take it. Simply amazing. No words, just tears, and amazement.
Now, if you find The Knitters in a town near you, go. Order yourself something fizzy, don yourself a cowpoke hat, and shake it.
After all, on your thirty third year of life with the Old Crow Medicine Show rocking the trees and the full moon coming up above them, there's very little more amazing than dancing the night away with the people you love and who love you the most.
Eat up the Shell Beans
Adapted from the NY Times
1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard or red chard Salt to taste 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/2 medium onion, sliced in half moons across the grain 2 large garlic cloves, minced 14oz beans, such as cannelini, borlotti, or purple runners 1 pound potatoes, preferably fingerlings or Yukon
1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard or red chard
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, sliced in half moons across the grain
2 large garlic cloves, minced
14oz beans, such as cannelini, borlotti, or purple runners
1 pound potatoes, preferably fingerlings or Yukongolds, cut in 1-inch pieces
3 1/2 to 4 cups water
A bouquet garni made with a sprig each thyme and parsley (or basil), a bay leaf and a Parmesan rind (if you’ve got it on hand)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan for serving
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Stem the chard, setting aside the stems, and wash the leaves thoroughly in two changes of water. Wash the stems, trim away the ends and dice. Set aside. When the pot of water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the chard leaves. Blanch for one to two minutes, until tender but still bright, and transfer to the bowl of ice water. Drain, squeeze out excess water and chop coarsely. Set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about two minutes, and add the diced chard stems. Cook, stirring often, for about two minutes, until the stems begin to soften, and add the garlic. Stir together for a minute, and add the potatoes and water (just enough to cover everything) and bouquet garni. Bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste. Cover and simmer, until the potatoes are tender. Add the beans at this point, if you’re using canned beans, and simmer for a bit to warm the beans through. Add the blanched chard, and simmer for another two to three minutes. Add pepper, and then taste and adjust salt. Remove the bouquet garni. Stir in the parsley and marjoram, and serve, passing Parmesan at the table for sprinkling.
Poor little critter on the road....