Life Began at 52
I finally left the brown parched dry deserts and perpetually raging infernos of Southern California and landed in the peaceful, watery haven of rivers and lakes in Connecticut’s Last Green Valley.
I soon found myself with a quaint little cottage on Lake Ashford, that is now my Airbnb which is booked back to back. And an isolated passive solar cabin with floor to ceiling windows that hugs my own little slice of the Naugatuck River. The crystal clear river winds around my 3-acre forest and offers me stunning views from every room. How lucky am I? And to top it all, after giving up on love, and about 36 years of excruciatingly disastrous dating, I found the man of my dreams.
If I had to describe the perfect man, it would be someone who is honest, intelligent, easy to talk to, is very masculine but totally in touch with his feminine side and not afraid to show it. Someone who can support me as much as I support them. Someone who works hard and plays hard. Someone who does housework without being asked. Someone who can mend cars and do carpentry but knows how to knit. Someone who never yells and is always respectful. I know it sounds like he could never exist, but my sweet, loving prince who dropped into my lap from heaven, is real and is the love of my life. To cap it all he is built exactly the same as he was at the age of 18 (not one grey hair on his head) with the same passion for life and sweet innocence. After our first kiss, he gently whispered into my ear, as he breathed life and passion into me, that he would love me forever. Within a week he moved out of his house, put it on the market and a year later we are inseparable (and he still whispers into my ear).
My first husband was disrespectful and closed minded. My second husband was angry, disrespectful and blamed everyone but himself for his failings. And after so many years of being so very unlucky in love, my time has come and I am making the most of every second. Thank you universe.
So if you are single and hoping for love, my advice is to just enjoy every moment you can and believe that they are out there. I never dared dream that I would one day dance all night with a perfectly chiseled God. And now to the Magical Beans.
I recently discovered some simple concoctions that turn bland simple ingredients into heavenly deliciousness. One of those is Garlic Confit (see recipe below). It is easy to make and the perfect flavor-serum to turn any bland dish into a veritable taste explosion. You can add it to any soup or salad, any protein, like this bean recipe and any vegetable. Make a batch and use it on just about anything. Now really, to the beans.
I made this dish because I like to have healthy, low calorie, high fiber and high healthy-fat meals to grab and go. I now work out of the house flipping houses (by the way, my perfect man also knows plumbing and is a licensed electrician. I hit the jackpot, yes I did. Thanks again. Oh yes!!) All I will say is just try this recipe. Even if you don’t make the confit, you can just add olive oil and garlic directly to the beans. Remember that olive oil should not be cooked at high temperatures or it will be ruined. Keep the beans at a very slow steady simmer with half the pan on the heat and lots of stirring. I don’t even make the confit for this recipe, I just add a head of garlic and keep the beans covered with 1/2 inch of olive oil.
When I tried this I swore I was going to eat it for the next week for every meal. And I pretty much did. Even topped a bowl with a poached an egg and had it for breakfast. It’s just the best thing I have ever cooked. And with the drizzled aioli you could serve this at a dinner party and everyone is going to want the recipe. You can add homemade croutons, but I like it as is. You can add an organic carrot and 1/4 onion while the beans were cooking just to add extra perfection. Just remove them when it’s finished cooking or leave them in and have some soft flavorful sweet carrot and onion guilt free.
Make a smooth paste by blending the garlic and some of the olive oil in a food processor or smash the garlic cloves with the back of a spoon. Add a spoonful onto any vegetable or use in your favorite salad dressing. Be very careful to cool it as fast as you can and keep it in the fridge at all times.
- 2 Heads Garlic
- ½-3/4 Cup Olive Oil
- Add garlic to a small saucepan and cover with olive oil.
- Gently heat to a very low simmer using low heat.
- Cook for 45 mins until garlic is tender. Blend with a wand or mash garlic into the oil.
- Transfer garlic mix to a freshly washed jar.
- Cool confit as quickly as possible. Immediately place in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Always use a clean.
- 1 Cup Beans
- ½ Cup Garlic Confit - (or olive oil and 1 head of garlic)
- Freshly Ground Sea Salt
- Ripe Organic Tomato (or 1 Tbs sun-dried tomatoes)
- 1 Charred Lemon
- 2 Tbs Sherry Vinegar - Optional
- Croutons to serve - Optional
- Soak beans overnight in a bowl.
- Transfer to a pot, bring to a boil and skim the white froth off the top. Add salt throughout the cooking process. Add garlic confit so there is an inch of fat on the top of the beans. Add 1 Tbs Oregano and a ripe tomato. Keep barely at a simmer and stir constantly.
- Heat a cast iron skillet on high and place cut lemon halves, cut side down for 2-3 minutes until charred. Add to beans.
- Once tender, add some more salt and oregano to taste.
- Serve with fresh herbs (dill, mint, cilantro) and a dollop of aioli.
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- ¼ Onion- Peeled
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- ½ Lemon - Juice only
- 1 Tbs Capers
- 1 Cornichon pickle - or regular pickle
- Freshly Ground Salt and Pepper
- Blend everything together and store in the fridge.