Monday, November 8, 2010

The Darkest Hour

If we continue as we began, I think that this years time change may be fun. I always love waking up to the light, I'm an early riser. But, for a non driver, early dark evenings can get to be a bit, shall we say, claustrophobic?

But if last night's cooking frenzy is any indication of the nights to come, I'm on board. Our first experience cooking the lovely spring green fava bean was a tender success. We cut up our 2 sugar pumpkins and roasted them ( also a first) seasoning some to have as a dinner for a vegetable and pureeing and freezing the rest of the flesh for future baking. Will I dare to bake a pie? The suspense mounts!

Lest I forget, we also cleaned, dried and roasted the pumpkin seeds in a mixture of salt, chili, cumin, cayenne, brown sugar and the tiniest pinch of cocoa. An hour at 250 degrees, stirred every 15 minutes. Tasty little treats.

We browned and braised a chunk of beef shoulder, surrounded it with sauteed pieces of onions, carrots, garlic cloves, seasoned with S&P, bay leaves and thyme, added beef broth and a bottle of Magic Hat #9, brought all to a boil, then covered our cast iron dutch oven and slid it into a 350 degree oven. 3 hours later the meat was fork tender, we added the parboiled, shelled fava beans, heated up a half a baguette and piled some roasted pumpkin pieces on the plate.

Darkness? Bring it on! You'll find me in the circle of light in the warm kitchen, GG studying, the cat sleeping on a folded up towel and the Lab circling anxiously for any tidbit that might hit the floor. Cozy always trumps claustrophobia.

GG clearly NOT studying


  1. Shudder.... broad beans... shudder.....

  2. love the cooking...and love the fava beans. those are hard to find... i love pressing them down on a really good piece of toasted french bread..a drizzle of killer olive oil {the good stuff} a sprinkle of sea salt Mauldon's and a paper thin thin slice of parmiganno...and a sip of wine.

  3. You've got me convinced that I need to up the level on my cooking

    I need the inspiration.... and a kick in the ass to get started! Thanks.

  4. Rachel, maybe you've had them overcooked and not peeled? If so try them again, cooking them briefly in boiling water then peeling off the outer shell. Farmhouse kitchen has a fabulous idea in the post below yours. No shuddering necessary.

    Kary, Oh yum. I will get more and try this, sounds fresh and heavenly.

    Webb, Consider your booted:) now go cook something delish and tell us about it.

  5. You are absolutely making the best of it. I'm just home from the grocery store and it seems I'll be handling darkness in similar fashion. Kuri squash is on our menu tonight (it looks like a little red pumpkin). But Chris is not home yet and I'm also doing you've got this new way of life nailed before me. Still fumbling here...

  6. Always wondered what fava beans were!!!! Now I know BROAD BEANS! We grew them once and when picked very young and eaten with lots of butter seasoned salt and ground pepper they were to die if you buy them they are large, course and revolting even if you peel both lots of skin off!

  7. No, I've tried them all ways, incl. as babies (them, not me), and I've grown them too, but they are still - well - horrid.

    On the other hand, I have a recipe for Brussels sprouts that will entice even the most stubborn kid to eat them willingly!

  8. THE antidote to winter is COZY - I learn't this from my Norwegian friend and am going to do a post on it shortly! You lovely two obviously have cozy in spades.

    BTW, so pleased to have the fava-broad bean translation, and while we are on the subject of American/Anglo translation, do you know the English-English words for berm and burlap which are two lovely words I read a lot on US blogs but which to me sound like twin brothers from Lapland (but, via context, I guess are vaguely to do with gardens and fabric) - thanks, yours in ignorance, Belinda x

  9. Lovely dinner - yup - you'll be cozy in the dark days ahead! Love the pic. of GG !! x

  10. I haven't tried fava beans. I don't ever see them in the Farmer's Market here. Might have to try some in the garden next year...? The idea of putting them on bread with olive oil sounds soooooo good. Now I'm hungry. Karin

  11. Denise, I've never heard of kuri squash, now I'm intrigued and have to go and check it out. Happy nesting.

    Julienne, I have always wondered what broad beans were...we're learning so much!

    Rachel, okay now you have to post the brussel sprout recipe, please?

    Belinda, We are the queen of international relations! A berm is a man mound mound of earth. Burlap might be known to you as hessian? Neither originating in Lapland to my knowledge. Do we have any readers from Lapland by the way? I bet Gardeners Cottage does:)

    S.E., we can supplement our coziness with your summer. Win-win.

    Karin, I was so excited to find them in whole foods, I was dancing around. Let's grow them next year for sure. I
    I'm always hungry.

  12. Oh, my goodness, I thought you were boiling a pot of froggies...
    Glad to read on, and find they were beans.
    You inspire me to cook, well close to it.

  13. a Brit In Tennessee, Ha! That's what I thought when I saw that picture. If I didn't know better...hmm, maybe that's why rachel doesn't like them, not beans after all!

  14. ah! pumpkin seeds! it's been too long.


    xo Alison

  15. this looks so yummy.
    i love all beans.


  16. hi jane,

    i've been away for a few days visiting my boyfriend on the conan show.

    i'm back now and see you are making beans. i adore beans and can't imagine my life w/o them. i can just smell them cooking. lovely.


  17. Hi Jane,

    We had the time change two weeks ago....I am still getting used to it. At three in the afternoon it's already getting dark. Lighting the candles and making everything look cosy helps. Cooking and baking as well!!!

    Your beans & pumpkin seeds look great!

    Lieve groet, Madelief