Saturday, July 23, 2011

Beans, beans...the magical fruit

   Let me say first....come on rain!
Whew it is hot. We have met numerous farmers who are losing their livestock due to the heat. Not good! We are doing okay with ours. We take water to them all a few times a day and check on them. So far, so good. Sorry for the others tho.

   So...beans. We are into our bean season very heavy right now. As well as picking squash once a day, squash blossoms about three times a week, and various other miscellaneous crops...we are also picking beans twice a day. augh.
   The guys don't like to pick them but I'm super glad they are helping this year. I started out picking the green beans, what most people know. We like the Empress ones as they have good flavor, nice size and shape, produce enough, and freeze well. I snap their little ends off, blanch them in boiling water for just about a minute or so, then pop them in freezer bags to keep in the freezer. We've also done a canning recipe that has vinegar and onions, called "Pungent Beans". It is okay but limiting on what you can do with them later due to the vinegar taste.
   Then the green beans change into shell beans. Here they are...

Left to bean, shell bean (tiger eye), shell bean (black turtle), shell bean (cranberry)
   So, are you wondering about the "shell bean" thingy?
First the bean is green...then it dries a little but isn't real dry. It doesn't pop open yet and the bean seeds inside are still a little soft and lighter in color. Here they are opened up...

Tiger eye, black turtle, cranberry
It is my non-culinary knowledge that people with culinary knowledge use the shell beans in a couple different ways depending on the kind. They cook them lightly and add them to something else, and they don't cook them to add them to something else like salads (like a chick pea or garbonzo bean I guess).
   Then there are the dry beans...on the far right... the top. Okay top to bottom...dry bean (notice the color is much brighter, the pod is dry and crispy), next is shell bean (lighter colored seed, soft seed and pod), next is "before shell but kinda after green" (seeds too bulgy to be a good green bean), the bottom is green (nice and slender and soft).
   Make sense?
Hmmm. I think he's got it! Now we can all sing the bean song know it don't you?
Beans, beans, the magical fruit
The more we eat, the more we toot
The more we toot, the better we feel
So eat your beans at every meal.

1 comment:

  1. Kris, once again after reading your blog I come away just a little smarter. Who knew beans could be so cool ?

    You did !!