On our way back from Art and Soul in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, we stopped for the night in a small town in northwestern Arizona. I’m sure it had a name, but it was pretty late and I don’t remember.
The innkeeper, a somewhat humorless lady, wanted to make sure that we were good enough to stay in her motel and asked, “How many of you are there? Do you have any pets?” Then I found out that there was a $110 “fine” that had to be paid in the event of pets. I never heard of a motel that charged fines before. She also mentioned that the only other car parked in the lot was also from Virginia, but “he is headed the other way.” I guess it’s OK to have two parties from the same out of state staying there if they are going in opposite directions.
While I somehow passed an exam that seemed tougher than some airports I’ve been in, Lesley and Adele had waited anxiously in the car for snoring time to begin.
We finally got to our room to discover, posted on the door, the names of famous or maybe semi-famous people who had slept there. I didn’t recognize anyone on our door, but I did notice that the actor who had played Timmy on the “Lassie” TV show in the 50s had slept in the room next to us.
As Lesley propped a chair against the door (It seemed kind of flimsy to her), I read the sign on the inside of the door that told of a checkout time of exactly 11AM and anyone who left later than that would be charged for an extra day. Right above that was another notice that the management checked the room both before and after any lodgers stayed there and that they would not only find out if anything was missing, but, since they had both your driver’s license number and the license number of your vehicle, they would make sure the authorities knew if you were guilty.
It’s been several weeks since we left and the lack of a police knock on our door must be evidence that if we took anything we were not supposed to that we didn’t get caught. I hope that either Timmy not was arrested or that Lassie bailed him out with some dog biscuits.
Lesley was particularly fond of the cologne a former occupant must have used to saturate the bed spread. I could have left a really great fragrance myself if I had eaten the beans I made the other night. They were the best refried beans I ever made and maybe the best I ever et, as my grandma used to say.
Another Refried Bean Recipe
2 lb dried pinto beans
1 lb smoked ham hock
1/2 lb salt pork
4 large onions, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon or more hot pepper flakes
1 tablespoon or more granulated garlic
Soak pintos overnight in enough water to cover them by 3 inches.
Drain pintos and put in a 6-8 quart pot. Cover with 1 inch of water. If you don’t like a lot of salt, rinse the salt pork. Add ham hock and salt pork, celery, carrots, bay leaves, and onions and red pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 6-8 hours, until beans are falling apart. Drain and set aside, saving the cooking liquid in another container. Remove the bay leaves and ham hock, but leave the salt pork.
Return the beans, along with the remains of the other ingredients, into the pot. Add 1-2 tablespoons of granulated garlic. Add half a cup or cooking liquid. Turn to medium heat and use a stick blender to puree the mixture. Add more liquid if you need it or continue cooking if you have too much liquid. Correct seasonings. Don’t use Beano or you will spoil the side effects!