Black Bean Crostada
I’m sitting on my preteen daughters bed, back pressed up against a hard wall, legs hanging off the edge, laptop on lap, the faint rumblings of a girl’s voice floating into the air from a pair of giant headphones wrapped around her head. My Becca. She isn’t leaning against a pillow, rather she’s sitting up, turned toward the lamplight on her nightstand, shoulders rounded over a fat book. Listening to the words of this book isn’t enough. Reading the words of this book isn’t enough. This must be an experience of full immersion.
“…we tried to do what he instructed, it was hard….really? is that why they left?….Jasper is more careful at home….did Victoria ever find you I asked, breathless…”
Breathless. Victoria. Jasper. Can you guess what series my little lady discovered this week?
Thank you, Stephenie Meyer, for introducing my daughter to vampire love. She will never be the same again.
When a group of Becca’s middle school friends created a lunchtime “Twilight Book Club,” I reluctantly agreed to let her attempt book #1. I was really hoping to stave that baby of mine away from believing there was such a thing as teen kissing until she was at LEAST 28, but her doe eyed desire to read won out. And anyway, the book was long, she’s not much of a reader. Maybe it would fall by the wayside long before she the scene where Edwards chest sparkles.
As it turns out, Edwards sparkly chest was one of her favorite parts. She finished the book in two days and emerged from her room wild-eyed and breathless and ready to talk for 6 hours straight about…well…everything Twilight. After we’d gone through the “Discussion Questions for Bookclubs” (I know, right? Discussion Questions for Twilight), downloaded and watched the movie, and shared our deep thoughts on the profound wisdom of one Edward Cullen, I was willing to let her read book two. Anything to stop the madness.
(For one thing, all y’all, I’ve banned her from reading the fourth book. Because, teen romance is one thing. Vampire married people and bloodsucking babies? Yeah, uh, not so much.)
So we drove to three different libraries yesterday, gathering a New Moon arsenal. The paperback book PLUS a copy of book on CD. Becca had a plan. She was going to do this second book right. Audio and visual intoxication. I think, if I googled it, I would discover this is actually a diagnosable disease. Twilitis. I’m pretty sure.
(brief pause here, we’re changing the CD from number 5 to number 6. Continuing Chapter 10, entitled ‘The Meadow’ which begins, “I stared at the monstrous creature….“)
This afternoon, while walking in from the garage, Becca met me at the door. Her face was white and sullen.
“Hi baby. How you doing?” I kissed her on the forehead. Offered up a wink. Started to walk inside.
“Mo-o-om?” that tone of hers worried me. I stopped and turned toward her, gave her pretty face a thoughtful look. Her lips were quivering. Tears in her eyes.
“Honey? Are you okay? What’s the matter?” I felt her forehead for a fever.
The sentence caught in her throat. There was more to say but she couldn’t get it out. She sucked the air, composed herself, “I’ve got stay awake and read until he gets back.”
Um, hello? Could I lurrrve this child anymore? I watched her throughout the evening, laying on the carpet, wrapped in a blanket, head in a book, that voice of narrator-Bella gently weaving it’s way from those giant headphones. That little girl of mine is becoming a lady. She smiles at the mention of sparkly vampire skin. She weeps when Bella loses her boyfriend. She laughs at the jokes and answers the discussion questions with thoughtful, measured replies. I used to fear my children growing up. But as it turns out, I like them more and more the more I get to know them.
She’s leaning against the pillow now. Knees up. Glasses gently fallen toward the tip of her nose. She’s chewing on the side of her lip, silver braces peeking through every now and again. The CD is humming from my laptop. I sit blogging at her feet, a black headphone cord connecting her to my laptop like a plastic umbilical cord. When I turn to look at her, she glances up and smiles.
“Hi,” she says.
“Hi baby,” I whisper, reaching over to squeeze her hand.
It’s so nice to meet you, my little lady.
So very nice.
Black Bean Crostada
Yield: Lots of servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
For those nights when you'd rather read than cook, and need a quick, snacky dinner. This crostada can be made ahead and keeps well in your fridge. Don't mix in the avocado until right before you're ready to serve it all up. I love the all natural flavor, and vegan heartiness of this dish. It's as good served as an appetizer as it is a brown bag lunch or light dinner. Try tossing it in a burrito or quesadilla for the ultimate quick snack. Hello versatile, I love you.
2 baguettes, sliced thin
nonstick olive oil cooking spray
1 can black beans, drained
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1 anaheim pepper, finely diced
2 cups sweet corn
1 bunch scallions, finely diced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 3 limes
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
3 avocados, diced
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a grill pan, spray each slice of baguette with olive oil cooking spray, and toast them on your hot grill pan until golden brown on both sides.
In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients and stir lightly to coat. Add salt to taste. Spoon over toasted baguette slices and shovel into your face. Enjoy!