Saturday, June 14, 2014

Just a closer walk with beans

You will be relieved to know that I did not raise my voice and belt out the Butter Beans Song during tonight's dinner. It's a simple song devoted to simple southern food, a tune I first heard sung by a country band at the Zellwood Sweet Corn Festival some years ago, to the tune of "Just a Closer Walk with Thee": 

Just a bowl of butter beans,
Pass the cornbread if you please.
I don't want no collard greens!
Just a bowl of butter beans.

I have been known to belt out this tune whenever lima beans appear in my presence, but this evening I dined out with some colleagues at the Mayan Cafe (and if you're in Louisville, here's how to find it), where we sat on the patio enjoying the summer breeze while eating the best Mayan food this side of--well, I don't know where else Mayan food is served so you figure it out. I had the Cochinita Pibil, wonderfully tender roast pork in a piquant sauce with something called tok-sel lima beans, and since I don't have the first clue what tok-sel might be I'll just say they were way too classy for the Butter Beans Song. 

And besides, I was with people I actually like, and I wouldn't want to risk getting booted out of their company because of a knee-jerk hick reaction to lima beans. 

The beans were great. The pork was great. The three of us split an order of chocolate bread pudding for dessert, and that was great too. The walk was great and the talk was great and everything about the evening was great great great, not just because the Mayan Cafe is great but because today we finished our final full day of reading essays for the Test That Dare Not Speak Its Name. We have a meeting in the morning and then more reading until we're done, but I doubt that it'll take all day. I've already packed my bags so the minute they release us we can hop in the car and head back to Ohio.

Not that I haven't enjoyed myself (see above re: lima beans), but enough is enough. I've read just over 1600 essays, some of them coherent and a few quite good, but after today's reading, I'm ready to throw in the towel. A minute ago I asked my roommate whether I ought to return next year and she said, "Of course you will--it'll be my last year here." Throw a visit to the Mayan Cafe into the pot and it's a deal.  

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