Wednesday, December 18, 2013

the taste of early summer

If tastes and smells and textures hold memories, then broad bean season is filled to the brim with them.

The burning sun on our skin as we gather around the garden beds with our bowls and baskets ready for the harvest. The feel of the slightly fuzzy, swollen pods that we press to make certain their beans are ready. The tug of the pods off the vine. The hollow sound the fat, green pods make as they hit the enamel of the empty bowls that slowly dulls as the bowls gets fuller and fuller. The chatter amongst us. The songs of the kookaburra family nearby. The brilliant blue sky. The feeling of early summer freedom and possibility.

Then the gathering around the filled bean bowls on the blanket. The discussion about podding technique. The fleshy, spongy feeling of the pod skin ripped apart. The pop of the shiny beans as they bounce out of their tight enclosures into the bowl. The flavour of a sneaky fresh bean. Yum! The look of the empty bean bowl filling and the full pod bowl slowly emptying. The eternal 'to double pod or not to double pod' question. 

And then the cooking. Mostly just a quick pan fry in our house. Sometimes with garlic. Often with a side of eggs and toast.

And then the eating. All those summer flavours. They've been worth the long wait. They are as sweet and as garlicky and as salty and delicious as we remember. 

We'll eat them most nights for a while. Just plain and then a bit more fancy as the weeks go on. 

This is the taste of our early summer days. This is what it's all about.

The three winners of the Kester Black nail polish are;
Melissa Goodsell
Samantha Dennison

Congratulations you guys. Email me your postal deets and the gorgeous Anna will get your packages in the mail as soon as possible. Yay!

And for everyone else, I hope you are happy. I hope things are delicious in your world and that your lists are getting shorter as the days are getting longer, or shorter as the case may be.

Big broad bean love.
And tell me, do you double pod, or do you not?



  1. Another ripper post!! Gorgeous pics and words.
    Andi xx

  2. I remember eating them as a kid when my Dad would grow them & never liked them. But we tried the River Cottage beans & bacon recipe with beans my in laws grew, and they were great! Pod, blanch in hot water, take the skins off each bean - double pod! Yum! We are going to grow our own next year now we have found a great recipe!

  3. Definitely double pod - although I didn't always do this! It's VERY time-consuming but the result is scrumptious!

  4. I love shelling peas. It's up there with kneading the dough for me. Rhythmic, everyday, ritualistic, linking. x

  5. It's so nice to see summer when we're just entering into winter. 2 snows already, and it's not even January. Love the peas.

  6. Love this post Kate. So descriptive!
    I really must try broad beans ...

  7. we don't bother when they are so fresh. a quick blanch and into a salad though tonight they will be tossed in butter!

  8. I only eat frozen ones (the "fresh ones in the supermarket aren't worth the bother!) and so I always pod them again. Gosh how I'd love to grow them! The wonderful news is that now we finally have a little yard I can! If I can work out how! Enjoy them while they last :)

  9. I hate broad beans, my parents used to grow them and they seemed to have a bumper harvest year after year after year. Many a night Mum would insist that I eat just one. She would hide it in all sorts of ways but I always found it. My own children have never tasted a broad bean, but maybe I need to give them another try.

  10. Hi I only eat my broad beans roasted. I only single pod them as it gives them a nice chewy taste when you roast, Here is my recipe and I love growing broad beans and roasting!!

  11. Double pod, once they are blanched. I like to mix them with goats cheese and mint,cracked pepper and serve them bruschetta stylex

  12. Just discovered your blog it looks soon delish

  13. Ohhh, what a gorgeous surprise to find on your blog today. Thank you Kate & Kester Black, I'm so thrilled to have fun a little something special for me & my girl. xx
    On the broad bean front, I'm actually itching to try and make a pot of broad bean, bacon and potato soup with ours this year.

  14. I actually have never eaten broad beans. They aren't really big here. We eats lots of green beans in the summer and sugar snap peas.

  15. Ahhhhhhh!!!!! Thank you sooooo much!!! My girls are super duper excited!! Now I just have to convince Daddy..... Thanks, Kate, and thank you for being so generous, Kester Black. xxx

  16. I do love broad beans! We've been using them for everything recently! What lovely photos!

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