The Rumbly Tummy: Scott's Jazz Migas
It's Monday morning and we are parked in the Wall Drug parking lot, just outside the Badlands in South Dakota. The dogs and I just howled like coyotes in our excitement of the cold weather and the celebration of the end of another long weekend of fun, but tiring, shows. Scott is doing an inventory of our refrigerator, pulling the nearly too-far-gone tomatoes and the wilting cabbage out,
"The radish green and radishes on the bottom right should probably go," I say.
"Ooooh," says Scott. I see what he means The radish greens might not make the cut.
Jaimeo Brown Transcendence is playing over our camper speakers-- a recommendation from our pal, Aaron, when he found out about our weekly ritual. But this is an unusual scene for us. Mostly, because Scott's Jazz Migas* always happen on Saturday mornings.
It started in Wisconsin a couple months back. We had an old house to ourselves in Viroqua (yep, that Viroqua), and it was fully stocked with old jazz records. We were tired and a little spooked, and looking for a reason to have an extra cup of coffee, assessing our refrigerator with a bit of dismay. We were to the bottom of the barrel, with just a few browning vegetables and a stack of frozen corn tortillas.
"I got this one," Scott said.
And that was the birth of Scott's Jazz Migas. For the rest of the morning, I made the coffee, played with the dogs and chose another jazz record, while Scott salvaged the veggies and threw them into our cast iron skillet. At the end, he threw in the chopped tortillas, whipped up a garlic aoili, and called me down to eat. It was spectacular. We didn't look at our phones or read our books. We didn't talk about what we had to do. We sat like two normal people in a house with a little time to spare, eating food that may have otherwise hit the trash can. And we've been doing it every Saturday since-- intentionally so on Saturdays, so as to take a little time in the busiest part of this little folk band's week to say, "Hey-- the food's not out yet. The road can wait an hour longer. We've got time and space and sometimes Ella Fitzgerald. We're all right."
It's been a busy month for us. We were in South Dakota just one month ago. We've been through the Midwest, the south, and the Midwest again since then, and now we are back in South Dakota. We've had a tough friend break up. We've been working out all we have to do to release a record this winter. We've had more truck repairs than we've had our whole time out here in one week. We've been hauling long hours of driving with the new Ke$ha record on repeat, trying to stay awake and not drink too much coffee (fail). We managed to share our weekend tradition with some of our best pals in between-- sometimes on a Sunday for our very favorites-- but we missed the mark this week. So we are waving the white flag. We need to stop, to slow down, to get ourselves collected. We still have a few months til we can stop for Christmas, and facing forward with hungry bellies isn't going to get us there.
So here, on a Monday, we are scrapping together the last of our week's produce before we dig into our fresh heads of season's end kale. It's Scott's Jazz Migas! So grab that shriveling half of kohlrabi and put it in the pan. Brew your pot of coffee. It's time to remember we have plenty.
Scott's Jazz Migas!**
-1 TBSP oil of choice (we use coconut)
-Leftover vegetables and tofu or beans in your fridge. Really. It can be any kind. This week we are throwing in a potato, half an onion, some drooping tomatoes, half a beet, some half rotting chili peppers, radishes, a quarter of a kohlrabi we can't quite remember when we bought, and a stick of tofu sausage we got from an Asian Market in Lansing.
-1-2 tsp amino acids or soy sauce
-4-5 corn tortillas, chopped
-salt & pepper & whatever herbs and spices you have lying around. This week we are using some fresh rosemary our pal, Bryan, gave to us from his yard.
-Jazz (Scott says this is the most important ingredient of all-- and he says that with Jazz hands).
1. Put on Jazz Music and a pot of coffee or tea.
2. Heat oil in cast iron or favorite large skillet on high. Throw in aromatics (these are your onions, peppers, garlic, etc.). Cook til onions are brown (if you're using onions).
3. Throw in root veggies second, Toss with aromatics. Then cover for 3-5 minutes until tender.
4. Throw in herbs and spices and cook til fragrant. Then, toss in remaining veggies (tomatoes, tofu, greens) and stir to cook another 5 minutes.
5. Drizzle on amino acids/soy sauce. Then, throw in chopped corn tortillas. Cook another minute or two until they are browning. They will have a kind of eggy texture. Which is fun.
6. Sit down with your best pal and eat with a side of ketchup, hotsauce, or simple garlic aioli (mayo, lemon juice, salt, and fresh garlic stirred together).
*Migas means "rags" in Spanish, and refers to the shreds of tortillas that are scrambled with leftover veggies.
*It should be noted that the second week of Scott's Jazz Migas, he requested to put it on the calendar as "Jazz Migas." Once seeing it written out, he declared that it looked dorky. Which is the time at which I took initiative to "fix" it by calling it "Scott's Jazz Migas!"
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