It's March a Sunday and for breakfast this morning we had the last of the dried runner beans from Allotment 72. We planted them out last May and they did exceptionally well. I had one tepee of bamboo cane and five plants.
It was an exceptionally hot summer here in bonny Scotland in 2018 and the plants needed a lot of watering. They grew just like 'jack and the beanstalk' and I chuckled at the thought of these magic beans.
They grew well past nine feet tall and were producing many pods. More than enough for curries and soups. Eating the raw young pods in salads and producing so many that I pickled ten jar of runner bean chutneys.
We went on holiday at the end of August for three weeks and by the time we came back the pods were full with beans and beginning to dry off. I left harvesting to the beginning of October and was able to harvest about 2 kilo of dried beans.
Soak the beans overnight and then cook in vegetable stock for about ten minutes. We then transfer the beans into our 'canny cooker' which is basically a bean bag that the hot pot is transferred to and the beans allowed to cook over night, using no fuel and producing tender succulent beans.
The beans are ready to use and have endless possibilities. Here they are cooked in a sun dried tomato barbecue sauce.
Served on toast with mushrooms.
As a mindmeal, runner beans would make an excellent ingredient whatever form. They are exceptionally nutritious. I am not a nutritionist but my wife Christine has a Diploma in Nutrition from the Nutrition Foundation and she knows her beans. I have always liked growing things and it amazes me sometimes that we are not growing enough food that we could be eating when we have the opportunity to grow so many and varied foods. As a family we use much more that 2 kilo of dried beans in a year and I will have to consider how to increase that harvest and also to grow more different varieties of bean for drying. The beans are a low-fat source of protein and would make a sound basis when compiling a mindmeal. They are also relatively easy to grow and made a good trade for a cow did those five magic beans. Just imagine what could be achieved as a vegan giant killer haha, fi, fo, fi, fum, haha.
Mindmeal is the developmental website of Christine and Jim Dallas who believe that a plant based diet can nourish the body and soul. When considering the concept and creation of a holistic plate they also believe this is only possible as a vegan.
So I went hame and Edinburgh had become what it aspired to. A city of dreams a place to be. Photogenic.
A rocket to the sky. A novel in a hand. A thrilling adventure land.
.Get the bus, the 14, doon Leith Walk.
I have believed in an Independent Scotland since the early 1970's. My grandfather was a coal miner and I used to watch him get bathed in a tin bath by the coal fire by my granny. He took me to the pit as a wee laddie and showed me the miners getting lowered in the cages and said laddie you'll no be going down there. I was lucky, young James Dallas the first of our family to go to Uni haha that was a blast in the late 70's. I learnt a lot, especially about inequalities. It made sense to me, the independent democratic rights of the people's of Scotland. I have been a member of the Scottish National Party for most of that time and took a lot (thousands) of photographs for them. I have been there as the cause has grown and although I have not always agreed with most of their politicians (my freends) I thoroughly believe that they have created a fantastic parliament that works extremely hard to work within the tightest of grips from the Westminster oafs, creating some fantastic work and potential solutions and frameworks for everyone in Scotland to live in a more social and just society. All we need is for the Scottish people to have the confidence to believe.
I have met many committed folks to the cause but none more so than Crawford Cumming. For all us lucky enough to know Crawf here he is alive and well and marching with me in Dundee and Edinburgh this year. I have to admit we started at the front of the march in Dundee and ended up getting there last haha. Crawf does like a conversation.
Now that I have sort of got to grips haha with web publishing, keep an eye out for the next wee story, who knows who will pop up. Please comment or get in touch. Any advice is much appreciated.
Our 20 night adventure in The Outer Hebrides last September was an amazing experience. It is a place we hope to return, there was so much we did not see. We met some fine Hebrideans that we hope to meet again.