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August 19, 2009

Rice and Beans . . . and Immortality


There are rumors of tribes tucked away in hidden jungle valleys that consist entirely of people who never die. Were it not for the fact that all of these people have aged to where they can no longer reproduce, the world might be at their mercy.


What is the secret that they unlocked? They eat nothing but rice and beans. That is, nothing but rice and beans. Neither their rice nor their beans are ever touched by anything to flavor it. Not one grain of salt, not one leaf of oregano. That is the catch – they can live forever, but doing so requires a diet not worth eating. It is as close to being a deal with the devil as you can get without a hayfork and a pair of obsidian horns.


This kind of existence seems horrifying, yet the health benefits of rice and beans are inarguable. It’s a matter of compromising those benefits to the tune of how to make eating that food palatable.

At this point, you may as well mix pinto beans and rice. They will wind up in the same place at the end, anyway.


Heat your oven to 350 degrees, and place into it some burrito-sized tortillas wrapped in foil. These will stay here for about five to 10 minutes, just enough time to get done the other things you need to get done.


One of those is to make a simple corn-chipotle salsa. Mix corn, diced onion, minced garlic, chopped tomato, a little cilantro and a diced chipotle pepper together in a small bowl.


By this time, the burrito shells should be nice and softened. Remove them and open up the foil wrapper one at a time to prevent the tortillas from hardening. Lay down some shredded cheddar cheese.


Over this, spoon your rice and bean mixture. Here, if you have been paying attention, you have broken the seal. From this day forward you must know that your life will someday end. If this is unpleasant news to you, take a moment – but only a moment. You still have work to do.


Over the top of the rice and beans, spoon some of your corn-chipotle salsa. Top that with a little bit of sour cream. You are now thinking this to yourself, “If you’re going to go, this seems like as fine a way to do it as is possible.” Pat yourself on the back for this revelation. There are times when self-preservation must take a back seat to delicious flavor.


The danger here is a ticking clock. Your softened tortilla is becoming more hardened with every passing second. In fact, if you’re reading this rather than applying yourself to what you should realize by now is a burrito, you’re wasting valuable time.


Fold the ends in, and roll everything over into a nice, neat little packet. It is not a packet that will extend your lifespan indefinitely, but it’s something that will make what remains of it a little more enjoyable.


© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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