Monday, July 29, 2013

Honey Bear Beans, if you please....

Steve finally made a run to the post office box for our mail, so I was enjoying my "Mother Earth News" magazine today and putting off my work.   I love this magazine as I get all sorts of great ideas from it. 

When we moved up to the mountains, I decided to stop most of my mags as a waste of resources.  They can't be recycled into the compost as most are made of shiny pages.  I really hate adding them to the dump.  Also, the money can be used for more productive items for the homestead.   But, "Mother Earth News" and "Hobby Farms" are very well suited for our little bit of heaven at 6700'.  I have cut out SO many items I want to pursue, that Steve has threatened to stop the mags until I actually use one of the articles....

So, here is a great item from an article... To boost flavor and nutrition in fresh lettuce, tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces a day or two before eating it.  It'll DOUBLE the amount of antioxidants in it. WOW!!  Also, leaf lettuce is the most nutritious lettuce type and red leaf lettuce is the best.  Good thing I planted red leaf lettuces, too!  (Jo Robinson, Mother Earth News, Aug/Sep 2013)
See Steve, I learned something.  Now, as I feed you your 20th salad of the week, remember how healthy you're going to be. 

Guess I need to put down the mag and head out to harvest more lettuce. 
The beds are looking really nice with their lettuce bounty, but will something else...ANYTHING ELSE, please come up?  
I said a little prayer as I headed out, basket in hand.  And, surprise, some green beans were also ready.   (Like my basket?   I just love how the color orange sets off the green of the veggies.

I set up an assembly line, of sorts, to handle all of the lettuce.  I've found that, even though the lettuce looks clean when in the garden, it's very dirty back in the kitchen.   So, it gets rinsed twice and then spun dry in the salad spinner.  Using what I learned in the new article, I'm now tearing the lettuce before putting it in the zip-lock baggie for storage.  (Don't you just love the baggie holder?  I found it in a catalog and love it for many uses around the kitchen).  Hard, woody stems go into the compost bucket.  Today, I filled 2 large baggies.

The green beans processed down to about a can and a half, if I'd opened canned beans.  I freeze them now, as I'm not getting enough to justify canning them.   I blanch them in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes and cool in an ice bath. 
Then, they get spun dry in the salad spinner before ending up in a freezer bag for the next supper requiring them.  I must think of something soon, as I'm dying to see how they taste.  When my boys were growing up, the only way they'd eat green beans was if I called them honey bear beans.   I'd heat them with a little butter, honey, salt, pepper and pecans pieces.  I told them that's how bears really liked their beans.   They still prefer them that way as 30-something-year-olds.

Chores done, I'm headed back inside to read more of my magazine.  What'll I cut out next?

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