Thursday, 11 June 2009

A verdant ray of light on a gunmetal grey day...

The excitement. The very excitement. I came home last night, after a mammoth 2 1/2 hour slog (I'm sorry but really I have very little patience with strikers), tired to the very bone. Shuffling into the kitchen, I see on the kitchen table a lone broad bean pod. Now this is curious. I bought a small bag of broad beans at the weekend, as I'd checked ours - rather cursorily I admit - and they didn't seem to be giving forth. Why, I pondered, would MCD have removed a single broad bean pod from the fridge? For educational purposes... compare and contrast... an alternative instrument to unblock the loo... anything was possible. This is not a man known for voluntarily tackling anything green. When questioned, his little face shone like the morning sun and he beamed 'It's ours.' 'I know that, dear, when you exchange money for goods, ownership does tend to pass into your posession' was my weary reply. 'No, no, it's ours...' he maintained and light did indeed dawn.

He had been out pottering in the veg garden and a flash of something had caught his eye. Upon further inspection, lo, the lower echelons of the broad bean plants appeared to be covered in bright green pods. Masses. So tonight the plan will be - and luckily he's off to a Darwin symposium so he won't be helping (btw he's not sure he knows what a symposium is, but hey-ho it's a night out) - me shelling broad beans and freezing what I don't plan to eat over the next few days.

So tonight, broad beans with some creme fraiche and ham; tomorrow, broad beans with parsley and lemon to go with our fish and chips; Saturday more broad bean hummus.

Ooh and to add to it all, our very first pebble-like new potatoes were smashing.
PS: Just to add a note - those broad beans with the creme fraiche. Here's what I did: I got home, found, not the colander with a few pods in but half a stock pot full - MCD had been busy. I poured a glass of wine and went into the garden and left them there... No, not really. I decamped to the garden and podded the beans. It all came to about 2 handfuls - no wonder they're precious. I popped a big handful into a pan with a little butter and a slightly-too-large splash of white wine, added some shredded Parma ham and simmered very gently until they just started to pop through the outer casing and there was a hint of bright green visible. I stirred in creme fraiche, lemon juice and parsley and poured this ragout next to a sizzling pork steak, seasoned with a little lemon juice. Back out into the garden with more white wine - it was blissful and quite extraordinary to be eating the produce picked that morning and prepared a couple of minutes earlier.

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