A doctor couldn’t have ordered anything better… a weekend getaway for this tired Pennsylvania Dutch gal. Tired from running a business, stressing about finances, fighting with my husband and parenting three energetic boys.
A friend invited me to go with her (and a few more friends) to see her sister in Marblehead (right above Boston). It took the first half of the drive to destress enough to relax, then I fell asleep and woke up with a stiff neck, but in a perfect weekend world.
Their house was perched on a street corner an arm’s throw from a cove overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with a porch that I wanted to claim as my new home. I sat in the first chair I found, breathed as deep as I could and realized life was still good.
We talked. Laughed. We kayaked. Explored a local fort. Sat on the sea wall. The air was salty. The friends funny. The music was good. I’m not a musician, but I appreciate good music.
One evening it was a short walk up the winding curvy street to a park to listen to a band with the ocean as their backdrop. Another evening it was a collection of their friends gathered on the porch with their instruments, again with the ocean as a backdrop. What’s not to love?
And then there was the food. The best! My friend and her sister have a way with food. We walked to the local market for a few items, but mostly they took basic ingredients from the cupboard and created goodness. It was all good, but my favorite (and new to me) was the black beans simmered with salsa and served over rice and grilled salmon (pre-vegetarian days).
This began a relationship with this dish that continues to this day… when I’m in hurry, I simply open 1 small jar of salsa and 1 can of beans, simmer them for a short time and eat it over salad greens with a few tortilla chips crumbled on top. When I have more time, I turn it into a festive dish of color, nutrition and goodness.
Somedays I get daring and also add a can of drained garbanzo or pinto beans. I’ve also been known to throw in any leftover vegetable that is in the fridge.