We sat around their table with the soft sunset light streaming though their windows and snacked on the appetizers. We're all loud, but, collectively, it's as if we're tone deaf, each outdoing the other in a higher decibel. Jenny provided an amazing spread of food and with each bite I fell into a delectable bliss. But I stopped mid-bite when she mentioned pasta and beans... And I was all, whaaaaaat?
You see, pasta and beans is a private thing with my family. A weird plate of food we keep to ourselves to avoid what others may think. Their distaste. Heck, their confusion. I grew up kinda poor (there's no such thing as 'kinda' poor, but it makes my dad feel better to know I don't reference my childhood as just plain, old poor) and dinners were always an improvisation with what was in the relatively empty fridge and pantry. With government-issued pinto beans readily available and a $0.99 box of pasta, my father would often create masterpieces. Delicious plates of Italian and Mexican spices, melted cheese, and a whole lot of love. But at the end of the day, the dish was really just pasta mixed with beans.
When I tried explaining this dish to my friends in high school they'd squeal in disgust, so I quickly learned to keep this dish on the down low. You know, a family thing. Even when I first told JD about pasta and beans, he scrunched his nose and shook his head. No, thanks.
Once Jenny mentioned my father's pasta and beans, I was taken back. He made that for you, I hesitantly asked. Jenny and Brad both nodded in unison and said they loved it. In that instant, I felt safe. I finally felt like sharing my insane love for pasta and beans was okay with the world. Not because they gave me permission, but, rather, I might be fine with accepting my unordinary childhood and inviting others to share in it.
I snapped a few photos of Jenny and Brad in their Silverlake home last week. Nothing formal, just a few snapshots to document their lives. And the fact they're people who--clearly--have great taste in food.