mulberryshoots

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

“fava bean linguine” . . .

fava bean linguine with garlic butter and parsley. . .

fava bean linguine with garlic butter and parsley. . .

Last night, we made it to Idylwilde Farm just before it closed at 7:30 p.m. I wanted to stop there because they carry fresh fava beans when they’re in season. Sure enough, there they were in their fat pods. I’ve made them before so I’m familiar with the double-peeling process.

First you harvest the beans from the fat pods that you paid so much for and then throw them away. There are three or four beans in a fat, fluffy pod. Then you parboil the beans and peel off the white covering to reveal the brilliant green beans inside. All that work results in about a half handful of succulent bright green beans (see both photos below.)

empty pods on the left, fava beans in shells on right

empty pods on the left, fava beans in shells on right

fava beans in the cup; white shells on the right!

fava beans in the cup; white shells on the right!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight, I thought I’d heat the peeled fava beans gently in some unsalted butter, minced garlic and fresh parsley until just right – and then toss some cooked spinach/chive linguine noodles with the beans. Then add chopped fresh basil, along with a robust grating of fresh parmesan cheese on top. A squeeze of fresh lemon mixed in.

ingredients: fava beans, fresh garlic, basil, parsley, lemon & Trader Joe's spinach-chive linguine. . .

ingredients: fava beans, fresh garlic, basil, parsley, lemon & Trader Joe’s spinach-chive linguine. . .

A simple watercress/lettuce salad with a classic vinaigrette and coarse ground pepper finishes off the meal.

 

 

“utopia in my own backyard” . . . (or at least in my pantry!)

a flexible glass tube flower vase "lost" and now "found" . . .

a flexible glass tube flower vase “lost” and now “found” . . .

I’ve been doing a massive Spring cleaning out of my pantry. It is a nice-sized room that adjoins our living space and also serves as a passageway of sorts to our back deck where we grill and have planters of kitchen herbs for three seasons of the year. When the weather is pretty mild, we basically keep the doors open and enjoy the additional view and extension of our living space. The trouble is that the “view” in the pantry wasn’t much of one, mostly foodstuffs tossed in there, looking more like a disheveled storage room than anything else (after all, it’s a pantry, right?)

We’re now on our second day of taking things out in order to give away what we won’t be using and reorganizing it so that storage will be more practical and the room more presentable. The funny thing is that we have unearthed a number of “finds” – that is, things we wished we had (like the cute little glass flexible vase in the photo above) and rediscovered things that meant a lot to us – like some McCoy pottery bowls that show their age but are wonderful, nevertheless.

McCoy pottery bowls. . .

McCoy pottery bowls. . .

So, the saying that “utopia is in your own backyard” comes to mind while also wondering what to do with the huge sack of rice saved in case of a disaster.

To dress up the pantry space, I thought I might experiment with some pieces of vintage Japanese indigo blue/white fabric plus some blue wood-block printed “Tree of Life” cotton from India. We’ll see how that works out when the sticky-back velcro tape arrives tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, it’s comforting and discomfiting at the same time to realize that I haven’t changed much over the years: there are duplicates of the things that I love (Le Creuset, vintage copper, pottery bowls, ruffled quiche pans) and also things that I completely forgot about! Like the little flexible glass tube vase that I cleaned out and which now holds the remnants of Mother’s Day bouquets that my daughters sent me last weekend.

This whole cleaning out process reminds me of a French phrase:

“les plus de choses changent plus elles restent les mêmes” (the more things change, the more they stay the same!”