All posts filed under: Beans

Under Pressure – Crowder Pea Shellies & Dried Beans

 Another Test on the Cook’sEssentials 4.5 Qt Microwave Pressure Cooker I remember long, hot, late Autumn afternoons, when the lawns have had their last cut, the drying grass  filling the air with such a deep herbal sweetness. I remember visits to my grandparents, sitting on Evelyn’s screened porch, shelling beans and peas… which is an art. There’s a considerable difference between fresh beans and shellies. While a fresh bean can be wickered apart by snapping or with some quick thumb work with a pairing knife, shellies have to be… well, shelled. The long tough side strings have to be removed, a deft thumb employed to separate the casing, then re-positioning said thumb to push through the drying gauntlet; freeing the more than slightly matured beans as you go. For Evelyn and my great grandmother, it was second nature. They’d talk and gossip, all the while casings flying apart and shelled beans dropped efficiently into a pot in their lap. Me?… not so much. Either the strings wouldn’t release, or the casings cracked and broke, or I’d …

Curb Market Crawl – Butterbeans

I grew up eating Butterbeans. Not limas… not Madagascar Beans… Butter Beans. Butterbeans are what baby limas and Fort Hook Limas become when they grow up… and yes, I know they’re all the same thing… generally. Once fully matured and the pod pales and toughens, limas turn a wonderful creamy white with a slightly tough slip skin. The starches do a little dance and when cooked, transform the lowly lima into something spectacularly smooth and creamy… like buddah. My grandmother always grew them and frequently during the summer there would be stacks of Winn Dixie brown paper grocery sacks on the porch waiting patiently on nimble young hands to zipper open the pods and coax out the thumb-sized beans. Those, unfortunately, are most of my memories of my grandmother’s house… shelling speckled beans, stringing pole beans, shucking corn…. and wrinkled fingers. Making the rounds this week, we made it a point to check in with the Tomato House out on HWY 52 towards Cleveland. They’ve become my favorite produce stop and I love giving them my business. The …

Curb Market Crawl – Cornfield Beans

When we were kids, my brothers and I would trade off spending the weekends at my grandparent’s house. We would wake up early on Saturdays to fresh baked biscuits, fried ham, coffee and whiffs of my granddad’s pipe tobacco permeating through the house. Once they got us rousted out of bed, breakfast would be those crispy-bottoms biscuits slathered in Parkay Margarine with a healthy dose of my grandmother’s thoroughly horrible burnt sugar jam “doesn’t it taste just like fresh blackberries?” and a big glass of sugar laden coffee with Pet Milk (we weren’t allowed coffee at home). It, honestly, was the best part of the weekend sleep-over. Once the meal was done, it was out to the garden for a fun-filled full day of tilling, weeding, picking… in the garden. Looking back on it now, it’s pretty evident why we were over so often during the summer…. Slave labor. The big breakfast? It was just to make sure we didn’t pass out during the day… I’m convinced of it. As long as I can remember, …

Simple Dinner Sunday – Chickpea Soup

Looking back over some of the Simple Dinners I’ve done, I realize what I consider simple may not mean the same to someone else. Simple doesn’t always refer to  “open a couple of cans – and dinner’s on the table in 5 minutes”… although it can. When I tag a  post as simple, I’m either referring to the preparation (easy to make), the time involved (that “ready in 15 minutes” thing), that I utilized whatever was in the fridge and I didn’t have to go shopping for that particular meal… (which is always a bonus). I even consider recipes as simple if I am talking about comfort foods and uncomplicated flavors. Sausage & Kraut is a simple meal.. but if I have you fermenting your own cabbage and grinding your own sausage…it’s just not terribly easy. Then there are times, like today, where I am making use of common ingredients like canned or pre-prepared foods to cut down on steps – case in point, Chickpea Soup. This soup take 5 minutes to assemble and 30 …