Friday, August 23, 2013

Musing on green beans...

Thundering and lightening all day... it seems the monsoon has moved back into the mountains today.

Still, I found a few things to do in the garden.  First thing was to get the scrap bucket in the kitchen into the compost pile.  We have company coming for the weekend and they don't need to see me grinding it in the food processor.   I love how the scraps combine with the egg shells and the old coffee grounds and make a nice crumbly mix.   Got wet taking it out to the pile, but love the rain.   Used the garden fork and turned over the pile so it could get moistened by nature.

Second, I had to check for veggies to bring in.  I sort of dread having to bring more lettuce in as we have salads coming out of our ears.  I think three zucchini will be ready to harvest tomorrow.  The green beans had to be harvested, as I didn't do it yesterday and they are still prolific. 

A few things come to mind when I think of the green beans.  Next year I will give them more room and a garden bed to themselves.  They shaded out some of the lettuce (joy) and mounded on top of each other.  They are bush beans, so finding all the ready beans is sometimes hard.  I have to lift each bush and look underneath, along with checking under every leaf.  There are so many huge leaves that I usually miss a few. 

Also, green beans don't smell like green beans until they are cooked.  I actually find their smell, just picked, as slightly awful.  But, once blanched, they are the green beans of old.

And, green beans must be harvested WITHOUT sunglasses on.  Polarized glasses make it hard to distinguish the beans from the stems.  I found I'd missed many beans until I figured this out.  Now, the beans just jump out from the leaves and stems and I don't miss them like I did.  I want to eat the beans at a reasonable size, not thick and tough.  Those that I did miss, and of a size I didn't want to eat, went back into the compost.  Waste not, want not!  I now have four quart-sized freezer bags full of blanched beans.  Plenty for the two of us for quite a while.  Probably time to crock pot some stew. 

Today was also the time I had to get my sweet potatoes cooked and mashed.  We loved it when Ore Ida had Steam and Mash Sweet Potatoes available in the markets.  They, sadly, have stopped making this great item.  We had taken to stopping by every market in Show Low, and even in the valley, to stock pile them.  When they could not be found, I even contacted the company to direct order them.  No deal.  Not made anymore.  :(   
So, I buy three or four when shopping and cook them myself.   I store them mashed and frozen until needed.  I'm trying to have us eat better, so when I make mashed potatoes, I put a good amount of sweet potatoes in with them and serve just like regular mashed potatoes.   They give the white potatoes a nice color and I think they taste better that way.  We both also like sweet potatoes just as a side dish with butter and honey.  Mmmmmm!

Dot just went flying by with nails scrambling on the kitchen floor.  I guess the thunder is getting to him now.  No traction... I cut his nails today.   I want to laugh, but he's such a serious cat. 

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