Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Garden Tuesday – 08/18/09 - Bean Bounty

Happy Garden Tuesday! I’ve seen a big shift in my garden this week. Some of my items are now past peak, such as the peas and the lettuce. Other items are just coming into their own, such as the zucchini and tomatoes. Mmm ... garden ripe tomatoes. And yet other items just keep on keeping on, such as the herbs and the beans.Lordly, do I have a boatload of beans in my garden. I planted only two varieties: Pole Beans and Bush Beans. I’m most familiar with pole bean varieties, so imagine my surprise when I discovered that I like the bush beans better! I’m making an assumption that bush beans get their name from their shape ... they spread out low in the garden vs. climbing up a trellis. The ones I grew have great flavor and they were, to my surprise, stringless! I staggered my plantings, just by a couple weeks, and I’m so glad that I did that. I’ve been enjoying their greenie goodness for a while now.So, when it comes to bean preparation, are you a tail kind of person? I’m a tail person. I leave them on.Off with their heads! Obviously, though, I do snap the heads off. I spent many an hour snapping beans when I was a kid. I actually like snapping beans. It’s quick, easy, and not messy at all. If I close my eyes, I can transport myself back in time to sitting in the back yard of my childhood home, sitting in a lawn chair, and snapping bean after bean with my mom. I used to make her laugh by belting out spiritual songs while we worked. I can still hear her laughter. Sure do miss her. Maybe that’s why I like beans so much.

Anyway, when it comes to beans, I like simple preparations best. A quick toss with olive oil and garlic is enough for me. My family, however, likes a bit of butter with theirs, so I’ve adapted my tastes for them.Gather a meals worth of beans. I just use my colander when I pick them ... makes prep and cleaning that much easier. Snap off the stems and rinse thoroughly.Add to a boiling pot of water, and boil for about 6 minutes. I always put a little dollop of olive oil after adding the beans. I don’t know why ... my mother did it so I do it. It does seem to keep the veggies bright green that way. Alternately, you could steam them.

NOTE: Here’s an old wives tale tip for boiling veggies: If it grows above ground, add it to boiling water. If it grows below ground, add it to the water and then bring it to a boil! Works for me!While the beans are a’boilin’, in a sauté pan, sauté a thinly sliced, not minced, clove of garlic in a combo of olive oil and butter. Saute it just enough to take the bite out of the garlic.Remove from the heat, and toss in the cooked beans. Season with sea salt if desired.
Serve! Beans fresh out of the garden are a real treat. It goes without saying that these are gluten free (uh, I just said it though.) I could make an entire meal just out of beans! YUM!

16 comments:

Marjie said...

Maybe next year I'll add bush beans to our repertoire. I am so jealous! You have ripening tomatoes, and I have yet to see one turn red. But I have about 200 total, cherry and big, according to Mark's count. You know Calvert: that boy can count!

I like green beans with a touch of garlic. Ever tried them with lemon and almonds? My kids bellow about them that way. I think it's because lemon juice turns the beans olive green/brown!

Lisa said...

Fresh beans are the best. I take both ends off.

Chris said...

Mmmm those cooked beans look really good. I'm waiting for more beans. The pole beans aren't quite ready yet and the next planting of bush beans won't be ready for a while. I should have lots to freeze this year. The bush beans were wonderful. I hope the pole beans are good too.

Lynda said...

I love fresh beans! Your garden has done so well. We have lots of tomatoes now, but my squash just didn't make it this year. :(

Mickle in NZ said...

I've only recently discovered the joy of green beans - brough up with beans boiled until they were grey, ick texture and no flavour left at all.

Your garlicky method just what I wanted. While winter here we're getting lovely round beans from Aussie. Just added them onto mu shopping list

Enjoy the luscious tomatoes - the bright red just sez sunshine.

And keep cool in your latest heat wallop - take turns sleeping in the freezer? Will be 6C overnight here so Zebbycat and Michelle will be sleeping side be side, jostling for best spots.

Paula and Marjie - it is fun to compare what is happening in the square foot gardens in the NE and the NW.

Huggles from Michelle and snuffling, grunty snorts and snores from ol'Zebbycat - he's noisier than a sleeping baby!

noble pig said...

Wow, sounds delicious! Love the garlic in there.

Spryte said...

What a gorgeous harvest!

prairierunner said...

I've bushels of bush beans too......I love them!

Pam said...

Yum - I love freshly picked green beans.

Cheryl said...

Ohh man I havent had fresh beans in a Coons Age! I better get to the store ASAP!

Pam said...

I like snapping beans too. I feel like a farmer's wife when I do.

Lisa said...

What beautiful beans! I remember snapping beans fondly too. I would agree, "off with their heads." No need for unnecessary fanciness where beans are concerned.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

a tail person? here in crete, we top and tail them!

your garden is looking gorgeous

Robynn's Ravings said...

BEAUTIFUL photos. All flattery aside, they should be in a gardening magazine. I felt like I should be able to touch the veggies.

Tails? I never knew there was an option for leaving them on. I have some in the fridge right now from the Farmers' Market. I will LEAVE the tails on, in honor of you! Looks yummy! You are SUCH a good cook and a very healthy one. Please come by and see what I'm doing and tell me what you think. You could leave me in the dust, woman!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Oh Paula you are too good to me. I've got the big head now and suppose that will even weigh MORE when I go to the doctor next time! lol

I LOVE Nina Plank's book "Real Food!!!" I recommend it all the time! Sally Fallon's book, "Nourishing Traditions" is great but it's a bible and is filled with good ideas but is a lot to take in for the average person. Nina Plank is more novel like in her approach and is a very compelling read. I'm going to shoot a few pictures of it and recommend it later in this journey.

I think people get overwhelmed easily and so give up. I'm HOPING that taking small steps in increments will help ALL of us. You are such a supportive friend, my dear, and I'm THRILLED you're coming along on the journey - but I'm QUITE CONFIDENT you could LEAD THE CHARGE! I would loved to feature some of your recipes (giving you full credits and links, of course, in the near future.) I may have to create a separate blog page for the 30-Day'ers. (BIG hug from me!)

The Blonde Duck said...

Butter beans bemuse Ben (and me.) I was trying for alliteration. :)