The temperature dropped pretty precipitously overnight, and today (though it did eventually warm to balmy-adjacent, as a realtor might put it) was one of those raw English days where you just can’t seem to get warm. That, combined with the fairly empty fridge, suggested a simple, hearty dinner with an appropriate balance between clean vernal goodness and rich carnal pleasure. So I soaked beans. Most of life’s problems can be either solved or comfortably postponed by remembering to soak your beans in the morning (or even the night before, if you’re the kind of overachieving freak who does your taxes in January.)
We didn’t have quite enough pinto beans, so I combined them with kidney beans and cooked them with onion, thyme, oregano (both coming up in the herb garden) tomato paste and the first of our home-cured lardo. It’s not quite ready, but I figured for melting into beans it would work just fine. While I was weeding and planting in the garden, I pulled all the bolting green kale, so after a couple of floats and some editing I wilted it with garlic and cider vinegar. There were corn tortillas in the freezer, so once pried apart and warmed in a lightly oiled pan they provided the grain for this humble repast. Lime and little heap of our kimchi added bright crunch and the indispensable pickly tang that we can’t live without any more; I had this kimchi with all three meals today. It’s like crack, but it keeps you regular.
Along with the simple yet tangy funk of our penultimate 2006 Siduri pinot noir, this meal delivered everything one could want in a drizzly day dinner: tropically inflected, salty pork fat enhanced, homegrown-homemade proud, and unpretentiously delicious. I don’t normally document breakfast and lunch, but since I mentioned them containing kimchi, here’s the synopsis: fried eggs on whole wheat English muffins with melted gruyère topped with kimchi, and a roast beef sandwich with just-made blood orange mayonnaise, avocado, mustard and kimchi with a spinach-artichoke salad on the side.