Monday, June 29, 2009

Fava Bean Puree.

I have been excited about fava beans for, oh, 3 months. I kept hoping to see them at the Farmer's market, and almost gave up hope of getting some local beans.
Then, the other day a friend took me out to dinner and I ordered gnocchi with kale pesto and fava beans- which is as delicious as it sounds (if it doesn't sound delicious to you, we obviously have differing taste), and only reinforced my desire for some beans of my own.

This Saturday at the farmers market was a successful day for fava beans. I saw a sign that said 'Fava Beans- $2 a pound, $1.25 a pound if you buy 20 or more pounds'- which I thought was a little excessive. I bought about 1.5 pounds of beans.
What I really wanted to do was make some fava bean raviolis, but attempted a simpler fava bean puree- which was pretty much just what I needed at the moment- fresh yet hearty and comforting.

Fava bean puree- thrown together by yours truly

about 1.5 pounds fava beans
lemon zest
lemon juice

Fava beans make you work for the good stuff inside. You've got to shell them, boil them and shell them again. It's really quite satisfying work- though I can't speak for doing this for 20 pounds
Anyway, after you've got them shelled, pop the little buggers in a pot of boiling water- I think mine were in there for about 5 minutes, maybe 7, 5-7.

Drain and submerge beans in an ice bath- the waxy skins will shrink around the bean. Squeeze the beans out into a food processor.

Add a couple splashes of cream, one diced clove of garlic, the zest of one lemon and 1 tbs lemon juice. pulse until a puree is created, adding more cream as needed. Add salt, pepper and parm to taste. Pulse once more to incorporate.

Serve with a crusty bread.

What I've been up to.


Making some postcards.
Packing some more.

It's safe to say I've been absent. I've been stuck in 'get stuff done'/'cram in as much friend time as possible' mode. This leaves other priorities- cooking, blogging, sometimes sleeping- left to suffer.

I'm deep in my last week in Portland. Oh Portland! It's been what, 7 years now? If I stayed until September it would begin my eighth. I've lived in 3 of your 4 (5?) quadrants, enjoyed all of your seasons, ate a lot of your delicious food and played in your streets. I'm getting all nostalgic.

There are many things I'll miss about Portland, here are a few:

Farmers Markets

I'm sure I'll add on more as I realize the differences between Oregon and Montana - rainfall being one of them (though I'm not sure if that's something I'll miss).

Mostly, I'm excited about a new adventure. Almost everyone I've told about my move to Montana has the initial reaction of- 'You DO know it's cold there?!'

Yes, and I thank you for your concern. I am mostly prepared for sub-zero temperatures. I will most certainly report back on my First Montana Winter in the months to follow.

As far as employment goes, I have accepted an AmeriCorps VISTA position with the Gallatin County Health Department, assisting them with early childhood initiatives to increase the rates of breastfeeding and immunizations. So that should be interesting.

Stay tuned for what's to come!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Different Wagons (lots of parentheses).

In the past year I have decided I liked sewing and knitting. Within these two crafts, I would solidly classify myself in the 'beginner' category, but would probably like to think of myself as an 'advanced beginner,' as I have committed a good amount of time and resources into improving my skills in both genres.

I think it is a common occurrence to like two things equally (both have unique merits and challenges), but be able to give equal attention to those two things. I find it very difficult to pick up a knitting project when I have yet to finish a sewing project, and vice versa. I have been neglecting a pair of socks I started way back in January due to a run of sewing projects.

It's not that I've run out of sewing projects, quite the contrary, but I've got some big knitting plans (in size and scope), and I just need to finish this sock before I will allow myself to begin. I'd like to have two (or more) projects going at once, but I am bad at building up my yarn stash (stashing is a thing that knitters do, so I'm told). I like to purchase with a purpose... maybe I'm just really good a self control (really?). It might also have something to do with wanting to knit a sweater next... making my next yarn purchase a bit of a spendy one.

However, Since I am moving early next month (!!!), and am also planning on being somewhat homeless for a spell (read: camping a lot), I think now is a good time to trade sewing (a hobby that requires electricity, space, a table) for knitting (you can do it anywhere!).
But first I have to finish these damn socks!