Saturday, October 31, 2009


Eastside Road, Healdsburg, October 31, 2009—
THING IS, LIMA BEANS were always one of those vegetables not to my taste. Partly that chestnutty texture (though in fact I do like chestnuts), partly the faintly grassy flavor, mostly the fact that Mom always burned them without, somehow, altering the mushy texture she'd given them by boiling the bejeezus out of them first.
Along came Nancy Skall and her beans. Two varieties are particularly wonderful: willowleaf and musica. These are the musicas, very flat and thin, beautifully smooth, a little bit grainy on the tooth, deep with flavor. Lindsey cooks them in olive oil; I'd swear she put a bit of butter in with them too. It takes longer to shell them than to cook them.
Otherwise tonight, an ear of corn, a hunk of salmon, braised chard and kale. If only the Phillies hadn't lost.
Pinot grigio, "Vivace", Contadino, 2008 (only 12%, and quite effervescent)


Curtis Faville said...

I also hated lima beans as a child. But then I disliked a lot of good food. Partly because they canned or boiled it into glue or dried the stuff into pasteboard. The generation of frozen and canned food. The era of "convenience"--which we've had to systematically unlearn.

It's a wonder I ever learned to like mushrooms, after having been forced to eat Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup as a boy--puking and retching the stuff up, and then being spanked and kept indoors from play as punishment. Ditto with asparagus and spinach and avocados. Is it any wonder that kids of our generation hated vegetables?

Charles Shere said...

Don't get me started. Beets. Mushy rank carrots. Slimy boiled squash. Burned peas. Hiding them under the table-knife carefully arranged across the plate. Desperately cutting things smaller and smaller, hoping they'd vanish. Clean your plate, boy: people are starving in China.

I never made that connection, between the awful food we were forced to eat and the general dislike of vegetables — now you mention it it's obvious.

Oh: Lindsey corrects me: the Musicas are the broad beans; the limas are the Willowleafs. I think.