Yesterday I stopped in at Scotti’s record store where I had not been in ages. My sister Celine wanted to buy a gift there for a friend. Coincidentally, I had just finished listening to the All Songs Considered podcast about favorite albums during college. All day I’d been trying to figure out which artist or song or album had the single greatest impact on me in my college years. I couldn’t nail it down. That’s really hard. I’d love to say that I nursed an obsession with a single band, but there was such a conglomerate of groups that I went to for all different reasons…some to serenade me while I studied, some to blast in the car, some to be my personal soundtrack when I felt invincible, and some to serve as the backdrop when I was feeling low and needed to stew in my own funk juices for awhile.
Recently a friend asked me what music I listen to while I cook. Also tricky. If I am preparing something grandiose and need to channel my inner Jacques Cousteau, I will usually have either opera, Charles Aznavour or Edith Piaf playing. If I am cooking as a means of self-therapy, it could be anything from Paul Simon to the Avett Brothers or Arcade Fire or Jeff Buckley or The Staves or Brand New or Cat Stevens or Talking Heads or Sigur Ros or Fall Out Boy or xxx or or or…..it all depends. If I am surrounded by my family, Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong will always do the trick.
In any case. my trip to Scotti’s and subsequent purchase (just could not refrain) reminded me of all the times when I’d just brought home a new album or mix and couldn’t wait to get in the car and drive with it and use up half my gas tank just to let the music elevate me and remind me what a good thing it can be to be alive, as myself, in this world. And then I’d look forward to listening to it again and again and again until every lyric was engrained and every octave switch was anticipated in my bones.
Also, as I drove with my new purchase last night, I remembered that caution is required to avoid potholes and too-bumpy roads so as not to scratch the disk. I happened to choose particularly bad roads, but with fingers crossed, we made it out unscathed. That is one of the downsides about having a cd as opposed to simply downloading new music, but there is just something so much more exciting about holding a new album in your hands and sticking it in the player. Anyways….
Yesterday I made this refreshing dish while Shakira sang. Not the new, commercialized Shakira, but the very young old school artist with the awesome lyrics and carefree attitude that exuded from her first album: Pies Descalsos.
I have to say that, delicious as these quesadillas may be, they still fit more into a summer food category than a winter one. All the same, they are super refreshing and enjoyable any day of the year.
(Inspired by Sprouted Kitchen)
8 corn tortillas
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 handful fresh cilantro
2/3 cup black beans, cooked and blended
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup goat cheese
Stir together the beans and yogurt. Spread over a tortilla and then layer the spinach, slivers of avocado, two sliced strawberries, and a few sprigs of cilantro. Squeeze lime juice over it, and then give it a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Top with a smattering of crumbled goat cheese and a second tortilla, and heat on a pan over the stovetop on high heat until the outer side of the tortilla is slightly browned. Flip and repeat. Slice into quarters and serve warm. Enjoy!
These make 4 quesadillas, but the recipe can be easily multiplied.