Ezra Klein, whom I adore for other reasons*, occasionally posts about cooking and food policy. And today he managed to get at something that's very hard to explain: how one cooks when one cooks often and without recipes. He describes very well the squishy, wide-open recipe templates that we hold in our minds and pantries.
* 1) lucid commentary on complex health care policy issues; 2) progressive politics; 3) hotness. Mom, you mentioned below that you've been reading about politics online lately...I can uncork a whole array of quality political sites should you so desire, beginning with Ezra Klein's blog.
So: Beans and Stuff, as Mr. Klein says. That's what I ended up with tonight, too. We had bread, and I wanted soup, and we had red peppers and collards, so I made a black bean soup with onions, carrots, garlic, red peppers, a few chiltepins, collards, fresh thyme, fresh oregano, bay leaves, and stock. We will eat it with buttered bread and fresh garden chiles.