Check me out with my “actually posted the week of the share” promptness! I’d get all proud of myself but that would be ridiculous since there is definitely no guarantee that I’ll keep it up. Still, we should celebrate while we can!
This week’s veggies were wonderfully unexpected: a bag of tender spinach leaves (which we kept), alongside a more seasonal butternut (which Boj and the boys kept), glorious napa cabbage (hurray!) as well as a bag of dried turtle beans, huge, leafy white chard next to staples like carrots, red onions and lovely, oblong beets. I am so happy to see the return of the spinach, napa and beets — this week will be a celebration in veggies!
I’ve actually found the past month or so to be that way. I’ve always been happy to see the autumn crops in our shares, but the farm throws in enough “springtime” surprises to make me appreciate them just that extra little bit. This week, they also threw in another bonus: a new-to-me ingredient, in the form of the turtle beans! (Known to most of the world as black beans.)
Now from the picture above, they might not look like much, but I took a little time this afternoon to shell them (which, let me tell you is much more fun than shelling peas) and discovered this:
So cute! These beans, which I have only previously encountered in canned form, are smallish, and so smooth, the colour of midnight with teensy white eyes. I literally spent a minute when I was done running my fingers through the bowl of beans — they’re that smooth. We’re I making a mancala set, I’d use these for the counters.
Anyhow. When we’d picked up our half of the share, I’d kind of shrugged them off, like Oh, dried beans; guess I’ll make minestrone. Having now seen them andy fallen in love, however, some more careful research is in order. I’m thinking some rich, spicy, slow-cooker action to make a truly great rice and beans dish, yes? I’ll keep y’all posted.
Having officially signed ourselves up for next year’s share, I’m starting to mourn the long stretch of months ahead when we won’t be getting these veggies anymore. Woefully, the farmer’s markets around here also tend to close down around Hallowe’en, so it’ll be back to distant grocery store produce for me! Once again, a weird fall transition that’s kind of fun to incorporate into our routines.