#59 | Bean Season
To Tip Out Or Drain?
We still haven’t recovered from the Giants losing to the Dodgers, but carry on we must! Just wait until next year…
THE GOOD LIFE
When some people talk about money
They speak as if it were a mysterious lover
Who went out to buy milk and never
Came back, and it makes me nostalgic
For the years I lived on coffee and bread,
Hungry all the time, walking to work on payday
Like a woman journeying for water
From a village without a well, then living
One or two nights like everyone else
On roast chicken and red wine.
–Tracy K. Smith from Life on Mars
By the way, I'm Bruce Cole, Publisher of Edible San Francisco. Welcome to all the new subscribers this week! But if you'd like to hop off anytime, simply unsubscribe. I appreciate you reading (and sharing) this newsletter.
Here we go.
Shell Bean Salad with Purslane and Cherry Tomatoes
Shell bean season is winding down, so now’s the time to stock up at the farmers markets (we never see fresh shell beans at retail). If you want to serve fresh shell beans for Thanksgiving, you can shell them, seal in a container, and freeze. There’s still purslane to be found too, and we combine both in this hearty salad (purslane is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vitamin A, antioxidants, and Omega 3 fatty acids). Peeling the cherry tomatoes is optional but highly recommended as they soak up the vinaigrette without giving up their liquids, making them even juicier. Note: if you don’t have access to fresh shell beans, the following recipes can be made with canned beans as well.
Shell Bean Salad with Purslane and Cherry Tomatoes Edible San Francisco
Joshua McFadden’s Perfect Shell Beans The Butter Lab
Green Bean, Shell Bean, and Sweet Onion Fattoush Martha Stewart
Beans, Burrata and Tomatoes Nigel Slater
Smoked Cod with Cannellini Beans Nigella Lawson
Thought: Maybe we’ll start writing recipes like the English? Slater refers to his recipe as a “fry-up of sorts,” and Lawson instructs the cook to “Tip out … the poaching liquid from the pan.” We’re going to use “tip out” in place of “drain” next chance we get!
Nigella Lawson On Writing Recipes: “It's very hard because, as you know, cooking is, should be very fluid, and a recipe, to some extent, argues against the spontaneity and anarchy of cooking. Controlled anarchy. I try to give room to that. But obviously, people who haven't spent a long time, doesn't help just saying to do this. You've got to give more of a structure. So it's always that balance as it is in life, generally, how much structure to have and how much sort of just going with the flow you want.” From the Desk of Alicia Kennedy
Related: What Recipes Have in Common With Clean Code. Stained Page News
Remembering Laurie Colwin: One of the best things about Gourmet in the late ‘80’s/early ’90s was Colwin’s column on home cooking. “In one of her finest essays, “Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant,” she calls the vegetable “the stovetop cook’s strongest ally”—as if ingredients themselves were keeping her company. Cooking for herself, she “fried it and stewed it, and ate it crisp and sludgy, hot and cold.” The New Yorker
Housecleaning: Digital food sites like Epicurious and Bon Appetit are editing their enormous recipe archives with a big red pen. “David Tamarkin, then the site’s digital director, said Epicurious would revise select archival recipes in order to provide greater cultural context and eliminate racist language.” Columbia Journalism Review
Beyond The Golden Arches: “I understand the political idea [behind banning fast food] — like, let's keep this type of food out of our community — but, I would say, why don't we think about wages and healthcare and free college and free childcare before we start making the solution about access to certain types of foods, and really start to focus on quality of life, that makes fast food one of many choices that people have.” Dr. Marcia Chatelain, author of the Pulitzer Prizing winning Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, in The Bittman Project
Green Acres: Beth Hoffman, the author of Bet the Farm: The Dollars and Sense of Growing Food in America, and her husband, John Hogeland, a former butcher, and Whole Foods buyer, decamped SF for Iowa to try their hand at farming for a living. “Unless you are raising food solely for your family, farming is a business. It is not a hobby, even if you don’t make much money at it; it’s hard work, often both enjoyable and very stressful. And every farm is embedded within an industry full of extremely complex problems—problems that can begin to be untangled only if we understand the history of how we got here.” Civil Eats
Business As Usual: The Trump Administration's $6 billion Farmers to Families Food Box program delivered funds to contractors it knew had the potential for fraud. “According to investigators, USDA approved millions of dollars in payments for deliveries that it could not verify had actually taken place. Thus, money meant to alleviate hunger during the public health crisis may have done little more than line the pockets of unscrupulous contractors.” The Counter
Clement Street, the 15 Minute City: Our only regret in moving from the Inner Richmond to West Portal twenty years ago was that in doing so, we forfeited the short walk to Clement Street.
This story reminds us of the old Paul McCartney quote: “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian,” except that we’re pretty sure no one is dying during the production of alt-meat burgers.
The future’s not so bright so we don’t have to wear shades? Aerofarms was set to go public after merging with Spring Valley “but investors appeared to second-guess its potential.”
Seems Obvious: If people wouldn’t take showers with oats there would be more oats for our granola.
Since we’ve cut way back on gluten, we definitely agree with truth #4, and it goes without saying, truth #5:
Anne Saxelby was a champion of artisan cheese producers and her influential shop in Manhattan only stocked American farm-to-table cheeses.
That’s all for this week.
Track at the top of our playlist lately:
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"Humans — despite their artistic pretensions, their sophistication, and their many accomplishments — owe their existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” Anonymous