Fall in love with the dreamy September beans

There are dozens completely different New Years in the world. So many calendars too: lunar, fiscal, academic, religious, civil, agrari...


There are dozens completely different New Years in the world. So many calendars too: lunar, fiscal, academic, religious, civil, agrarian, Gregorian.

I think we can agree, however, that it’s meant to be fresh, exciting, and timely no matter when the New Year arrives. But as my kids finally get back to school for the new school year, I notice there is a special worry with excitement, regret with relief that I haven’t experienced before, and neither have they. I’m sure everything will be fine – I’ll follow good practices, good nutrition, good science and common sense – but I’m also open to luck.

Some New Year’s meals are meant to bring good fortune. The Italians have their lentils, the South Americans have Hoppin ‘John, and the Chinese have whole fish and eggballs. Anything that looks like coins, currency or gold, anything that swells, expands, exceeds need, signals generosity, and feeds a large family seems to be the raison d’ĂȘtre of these symbols of prosperity – whether financial, physical or spiritual.

How lucky already then, that fresh black-eyed peas are now appearing on the market. What splendid beauties they all are, the many varieties of fresh shelled beans, both in their pods and on the outside. Pale pinks and greens and creamy whites, some striped, some speckled, and some even mottled. All shiny, plump and squeaky. These freshies cook in minutes, unlike their chalky, drab, and dried out counterparts, which in winter need to be soaked overnight and simmered for hours.

A big batch of beans and green vegetables for prosperity and health for the next 365 days.

The cool black-eyed polka dot is a branding wonder in its own right, with that deep purple-black o-ring in one spot on each pale green pea. Marvellous! And the black-eyed pea has an equally distinctive flavor. It’s an earthy creaminess that pairs extremely well with the sharp punctures of black pepper and fresh mint and the added sweet juiciness of Hokkaido white turnips, in this braised broth. A bundle of these perfect little turnips – so thin they don’t need to be peeled – can often be picked up from the same stall at the market as the peas, because they grow together, in the same season. But even if the baby white turnips aren’t there, you can substitute a large bunch of green swiss chard and leave the pale, juicy ribs intact, and if you don’t see black-eyed peas and instead you find pink eyes, Jacob’s cattle, scarlet runners, tongues of fire, flageolets or even just fresh red kidneys, collect them, peel them and cook them in the same way. As the saying goes, what grows together goes together.

I’ve asked you to do a lot of the laborious kitchen chores in these pages over the years – cleaning things that are difficult and unfriendly to clean, like artichokes, and carefully dicing things that are dangerous to cut, like raw chili peppers, and layering things that are tender and difficult to layer, like gelatins. I asked you to wait a whole day for things to be brined, frozen or hardened. And I made you dig a path in the snow to the grill in the garden to cook a pork shoulder. I have asked you to do in your domesticated domestic kitchens what should more reasonably be done than in our hooded and ventilated commercial kitchens. But here is a long chore that I believe you will welcome. Sit on the front porch, on the back porch, in the yard, around the kitchen table, on the fire escape, or even park on an overturned milk crate on the sidewalk and watch the city look out. pass. And have a good, healthy hour admiring the fact that you and your kids are always here to greet a brand new year.

As this is a job that many of us will be forced to embark on in our search for a new job, hopefully safe, adding, if we are lucky, some new paychecks to the list. promising but risky prospects we face in September – new backpacks, new social protocols, new variations! Ouch! – let’s go, a big batch of beans and greens for prosperity and health for the next 365 days. Whether it’s superstitious protection or science-based nutrition – I’ll take a little of both, with a nice chunk of sweet butter mixed in at the end – it’s a jar of good luck and a good dinner all in one.

Recipe: Braised fresh black peas with young turnips

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Newsrust - US Top News: Fall in love with the dreamy September beans
Fall in love with the dreamy September beans
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