Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Let the Sunshine in.

So despite the fact that it started out looking gloomy and damp, today turned out to be absolutely gorgeous!  I went over to the garden and rolled back the plastic coverings.  I still have them secured to the edges so all I have to do now is unroll them and secure the other ends.  It will be a much easier operation if I have to protect the seeds again!  I is smart.

I haven't seen any sign of green peeking out yet from the ones I started in the house last week.  I watered them with leftover blue tea (from San Francisco) this morning.  Can't hurt, right?  I am sure they appreciated the antioxidants.*  

Last night we had 13 bean soup for dinner.  This is twice in one week that I have remembered to soak my beans overnight!  When I was younger, I used to marvel at freshly cooked beans.  I know I am not the only one who has ever been intimidated by the process.  I used canned beans for the longest time and still do for the sake of convenience.  Especially if I am throwing something together at the last minute.  However, I've become reasonably proficient in cooking them from scratch.  Unless I am following a particularly ethnic recipe that calls for specific seasonings, I usually flavor them all the same way.  

I use: sea salt, bay leaves (about four), bruised garlic**, an onion and a bit of freshly ground black pepper.  

Beans and Greens.  A match made in Heaven.

Depending on the type of bean, the cooking time will vary.  Lentils usually don't take longer than an hour or so but anything larger (pintos and such) tends to take at least three.  My trusty Le Creuset Dutch oven cooks them up real nice.  About half of the time, my attention turns to other things and the beans will scorch at the bottom because I forget to add additional water but even then, they are still good.  I can admit this now because I've gotten over the shame of buring my beans.  It happens to the best of us.

*Edit: We saw some kale and spinach peeking out just now!!!!

**Using the flat side of a chopping knife to smash a garlic clove.

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