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Good Mother F–oops, Stallard Beans

Good Mother Stallard Beans. Dried, soaked, and cooked.

The great news is that it didn’t snow this weekend. I could whine about the continued lousy weather–in fact, I did, but deleted that paragraph. In the meantime, I get by on beans. Not any old beans, I must say, but the end all and be all of beans. Good Mother Stallard beans. Ah yes, the magical fruit. And it is a fruit, dammit. Don’t you remember the song? How much more proof do I need to convince you?

Beans, a simple food best done simply, simmering with a carrot and bay leaf.

Beans, a simple food best done simply, simmering with a carrot, onion, and bay leaf. Even the teen likes these!

What about the fact that they develop from a fertilized flower –just like apples, cherries, and tomatoes (and peppers, and eggplants, and tomatillos, and pumpkins, and melons). Notice I didn’t say strawberries. That’s for another post, with a a daiquiri. Which is the only way I’ll go there. Anyways, back to task…Vegetables, by definition, do not have seeds and consist of the leaves, stems, and roots. We’re talking lettuce, and carrots; celery and rhubarb. Oh yeah, I had to add rhubarb. Why make things simple?

Now, for some people, the bean, being a seed, means it isn’t a fruit. Or, they’ll say “It’s a legume.” WTF is that supposed to mean? Wiki, that wondrous source of (mis)information states “A legume is a plant in the family Fabaceae, or the fruit or seed of such a plant.” So, what is it? Fruit or seed?

And what about Tamarind? Tama-what? You ask? Tamarind. That you harvest the pod, and scrape the pulp off the beans (notice I didn’t say fruit, or seed!). What in the hell do you call that? That crazy ass legume that grows as a tree in the tropics. It is used in chutneys in Indian cuisine, and in the sauce that gives pad thai its most excellent tang. You can even get tamarind soda. Most people have had it in Worcestershire sauce (if you buy Lea and Perrin’s). Fruit or seed?

Small fruit, up high in a tree, makes for a bad photo.

Small tamarind fruit, up high in a tree, make for a bad photo. It’s my only tamarind photo. Deal.

As long as we are down this rabbit hole, what about almonds? They are members of the genus Prunus, which gives us yummy peaches, plums, cherries, and apricots and…Almonds. Fruit or seed? Nuts, you say? Guess what? They aren’t nuts. NUTS! They are seeds.

Is your head hurting yet? Or is that just mine, hurting enough for the both of us? One last piece of trivia to blow your mind…that famous ‘almond’ liqueur, Amaretto di Saronna, is actually made out of apricot pits. It’s not even made of almonds. I need a sour about now. And a bowl of nut. Preferably smoked almonds…Oh beans!

Why, yes. I think I’ll have a bowl–as they are done simmering. It is one of my favorite, musical…fruits!

Buon Appetito!


Gin and Syntax, Take 2

Instead of whining about winter, I am now feeling the need to whine about my lost post. Apparently discard on a link discards the entire post. The ipad ate my blog. The dog at my blog. The dog ate my homework…and I got nothing but first-world problems.

I actually had a funny post. I joked about usually being happy to get 8″ of somethings (not snow, but now I don’t remember how I segued into the joke. But it was funny. You would have laughed, and possibly snarfed your coffee).

Somehow, I wandered onto the topic of gin. With 8″ of snow, there is not much gardening going on here. But there is drinking, made worse by the snow, and blogs that get eaten.

Gin. The extraction of juniper and other botanicals.


Junipers and rust, like the one pictured here. I have some amazing juniper rust pictures, but this one bothers me. Because now I know it is a rust that isn’t supposed to be here. But it was. Don’t know if it still is. Sadly, I didn’t know it at the time.

Gin, particularly Nolet’s, which may mean ‘nectar of the gods’ in Dutch. If it doesn’t, it should. Redolent (Yes, Redolent!) of roses–it’s a total fucking flower bomb in the mouth. It flirts with juniper. And with citrus. But it is the flowers that linger, in the mouth for minutes after the last sip, and on the brain days later. It was that good. Roses. Violets. Something else.

Which brings me to rules and syntax. Syntax, the rules of grammar that I sometimes flout. Rules, including plant quarantines, which I try to adhere to, but simply can’t keep straight. And gin. Which pacifies me when I can keep the rules straight. And accidentally delete a blog.