In childhood summers, I remember Mom and her relatives snapping off the ends of green beans from somebody’s farm. I didn’t much care for vegetables then, but I enjoyed listening to the ladies chatter and get caught up on the time that had passed since the previous summer. During the rest of the year, we ate canned beans, and I continued to serve canned beans in various recipes throughout my life until a few weeks ago. Canned anything usually contains a lot of sodium, soooo they are no longer part of our pantry. Since Danny is not green bean crazy, I have tried to come up with delectible recipes. Here is a new one that he raved about: “I could make a whole meal out of these.”
Recipe of the Week: Green Beans with Pine Nuts
1/4 c. pine nuts
2 handfuls of fresh green beans
1 bunch green onions
2 tbs. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 large Romano tomato, chopped
1. In stainless steel skillet turn heat to medium and toast pine nuts (dry, no oil or spray), stirring occasionally for up to 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove nuts to paper towel or small bowl, and take skillet off burner if it is electric.
2. Rinse onions, cut hairy ends off, and chop up to 3 inches of white and green parts.
3. Return skillet to burner, turn on to medium heat. Add sesame oil, minced garlic, and chopped onions. Stir to mix.
4. Wash beans and cut ends off, then cut in half. Add to skillet and stir. Add salt and stir. Cover skillet and cook for 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
5. Lower heat, stir in chopped tomatoes and nuts, cover, and cook another 5 minutes.
Thought of the Week: The grass is cut; the yard is ready for an Easter egg hunt and some croquet on Sunday. But every year I remember another Easter I spent elsewhere…Easter is a huge celebration in Germany. They have Easter egg trees on almost every street corner, doorstep, shelf, and table for several weeks in every village. The Easter service I attended with my sister outside of Bamberg in 1986 was held in the tower of a thousand-year-old castle. We climbed the narrow stairwell that led into a small room with frigid air blowing in through a couple small, glassless windows. There was no heat and we could not sing along with the hymns, but that did not matter in the least. The sky was sleet/snow threatening and we could see our breaths, but the voices were clear and melodic. We were surrounded by strangers but felt welcomed. Everyone was bundled up, yet no one complained. When the service was over, we crept down the well-worn stone steps and crossed the yard to a lovely brunch in a heated, less ancient part of the castle. Peace reigned in my heart. Nothing could have been more perfect.