We Laugh - We Cry - We Cook

With hundreds of miles separating them, mother and daughter, Becky and Rachel, decided to stay connected through their mutual love of food and all things funny and cooked up a food memoir.

  We Laugh We Cry We Cook

Taken from We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook by Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph. Copyright © 2013 by Zondervan. Use by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com 

While “goin’ vegan,” I was having a blast discovering new recipes and foods to try. Jared, however, thrived in the comfort of familiarity. In the midst of so much change and my wild, adventurous cooking streak, he was soothed by repetition of a few new favorite dishes. Like any good Texan, he loves Mexican food, the spicier the better, which first led to his obsession with Corn Bean Salsa.

It started innocently enough as a simple recipe I made with a can of corn, a can of black beans, a few finely diced onions and bell peppers, jalapeños, cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime, and a dash of salt and pepper. Jared liked it so much he asked me to make it again.

And again.

And again.

Until he came to expect his beloved Corn Bean Salsa would always be in the refrigerator. I was glad he liked it, but I eventually began to despise making it. This was my month to get creative and try a variety of new recipes. After a while, no matter how many variations of this salsa I made, it was starting to nauseate me. I just couldn’t take it anymore!


Resentment began rearing its ugly little head, as Jared added it to every meal I made. I’d hand him a beautiful plate of baked falafel, homemade hummus, and Greek salad. He’d smother it with black beans and corn.

I’d serve a bowl of lentil spaghetti with garlic toast and kale chips, and he’d mix his prized salsa into the sauce. In exasperation I asked him, “Why am I even bothering to cook for you if all you really want is a can of beans and corn?”

To be fair, though Jared “seasoned” every dish I made with his salsa, he did eat what I put on his plate and ate it enthusiastically. Still I was up to my ears in corn, beans, and jalapeños, and I refused to enable Jared’s salsa addiction any longer.

“From now on,” I told him, “if you want Corn Bean Salsa, you’ll have to make it yourself.”

As any hardcore addict would do, Jared found a way to not only feed his addiction but take it to the next level. My simple version no longer cut it. He needed something stronger, so he started sautéing and roasting the veggies and adding more and more spice. His recipe was getting so spicy, I couldn’t even eat it if I’d wanted to. He was cutting me out of the whole salsa deal, one jalapeño at a time.

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Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph
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