I have become an amazing hunter.
of horn worms. Familiar? Giant GIANT caterpillars, like the size of half a hotdog and LIME GREEN. They're insane. And they're eating my tomato plants at incredible speed. So everyday I convince Ruthie to come out to the garden with me, put Bobby in his little bouncer in the shade, and grab my mini shovel for some caterpillar demolition.
Ruthie is usually OK with this activity because she loves bugs and she really loves the very hungry caterpillar. Some days though, I just really need to focus all of my attention on hunting as many as possible, so I wait for Austin to get home from work and literally run outside to find the bastards.
My strategy: sit on the ground under the plants (they're tall) and wait for movement. When I spot one, I whack the branch as hard as I can and watch the thick little jerk go flying. UGH THEY'RE SO GROSS. One my my good friends told me if you go out early in the morning you can hear them chewing but I think I would die of horror if I experienced that.
I let that ramble go on a little too long. Please don't leave me and never come back!
So since caterpillar hunting has been taking up a lot of my time, I've been looking for really really quick dinners lately. Quicker than normal dinner. Like 10 minute dinners. And this is SUCH a good one. I make black beans in the crock pot (1 cup dry beans + 3 or 4 cups water + one cup beer or broth + seasoning + garlic), but you could definitely use canned for this. You already know how much I love black beans + sweet potato combo, add avocado and goat cheese and you pretty much have all of my favorite ingredients in one place.
I usually give food to Ruthie the same way I plate it for myself: I don't separate it into each component, I use the same, non segmented plates. Sometimes Ruthie picks it apart herself, but most of the time she just digs in. (Oh and then sometimes she says I DON'T LIKE DAT and eats watermelon for dinner 🤷♀️). I'm not sure if there is any benefit to doing it this way, but it is how I've always done it and Ruthie's always been OK with it and also OK with her food touching.
One more terrifying fact about horn worms because I know you're secretly hooked ("I'M NOT" you scream), wasps lay eggs on them and I have nightmares about that. I need therapy.