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August 25, 2013

It was a day of cooking and canning.  Last night, right at dusk, I picked beans from the short row that I had sowed late in the season after finding out how much I loved the Roma variety.  The Roma bean is a wide Italian variety that is derived from the Romano pole bean that I tried to grow a couple seasons back without any success.  I had first come across this in a dish at work and it took a bit of time to figure out what variety it was and then had to grow our own.  We found the Roma bean to be something like a big pea pod, it snaps well and didn't fall apart in our pot while cooking, it stayed together with a firm meatiness that was really nice.  Some won't like that, in this part of the country most folks cook the beans to pieces.  We cook ours in the typical Appalachian way (without a pressure cooker though) with a combination sausage & bacon grease flavoring.  Here is a Smitten Kitchen blog entry about the Romano bean, she writes a good blog with nice photos and we also have her recipe book.  Now, if we only had markets like they have in NYC to shop from.

My parents have long told this tale of a neighbor lady who called for help in a frantic state.  My parents ran over to her house to find her pressure canner had exploded, spraying all the food over the kitchen and ceiling.   There seems to be tales like that in every family so my wife and I have been afraid of canning.  She finally decided to look for a safer canner and found this American made canner with several safety features.  Today we gave it a trial run and I'm happy to say that all the windows and ceilings of the house are still intact.  We had a good time at it, actually.

Made a 10 mile bike ride this morning, still making adjustments to the seat height, reach length, and saddle tilt.  I think it might work out, when you have long legs and arms but a regular length torso, the bike ends up looking funny with the seat high but no other way around it.  You just gotta envy those with regular body dimensions, they don't know how lucky they have it. 

“The only real stumbling block is fear
of failure. In cooking you've got to
have a what-the-hell attitude.”

Julia Child