A Hill of Beans

Husband and I returned home from Minneapolis last Sunday to find that it was time to harvest our pole beans.  We had covered the four bean towers with a tarp before we left, and hoped we could forestall the effects of a killing freeze until we returned.  The very hot weather we had in July pushed the entire garden behind schedule, and the beans needed as much time as they could get to mature. We grew Good Mother Stallard and  Petaluma Gold beans.

We first encountered shell beans when we lived in southern Indiana.  Shell beans are like dried beans  (think cannellini and pinto beans) before you dry them.  They are fat and sweet and buttery. The pods are long and bulging. Our favorite is Vermont Speckled Cranberry Beans, but there seemed to be a shortage of seed last Spring, so we grew the two other varieties.  Good Mother Stallard is the quintessential New England  heirloom bean.  Petaluma Gold was a good variety that we grew several  years ago.  People sometimes let them dry on the vine and store them in bags, but  we like to harvest them before they dry and store them in the freezer. They are terrific in soups and stews.  They are also so pretty before you cook them. The header photo is some of the Good Mother Stallard we harvested.

It got so cold here while we were gone that the bean vines died despite the huge tarp we covered them with. The pods did not freeze, however, so we spent Monday night shelling the beans and blanching and freezing them.  My thumbs hurt from shelling them.

I realize that our obsession with pole beans is sort of odd, but they are such good beans. Husband gets gout from beans, but he insists we have them in the garden every year.

What are you obsessed with? Who have you known who had obsessions?


25 thoughts on “A Hill of Beans”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Pretty beans Renae. They kind of look like Jelly Bellies. Being obsessed with beans is so much better than being obsessed with collecting cats or some other unsavory obsessions a la Ted Bundy. One of my rescue dogs came from a dog hoarder. She was a mess at first, and very afraid of men.

    I get a bit obsessed with genealogy and family history. When I first logged on to Ancestry.com 4 years ago to try to find my Norwegians who emigrated here, I had a lost weekend. I never did find the Norwegians, but I did find all these other interesting branches on the family tree that took me down the rabbit hole. Soon the weekend had slipped away from me.

    I have not had another weekend like that, in which the time is just gone and I am not aware of it, but I still find it so interesting when I find a new branch on the tree and I think about what their lives were like. I do get obsessed with crossword puzzle answers if I cannot figure it out.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m not obsessed with anything; I am a perfectly balanced person, moderation in all things, etc.

    And now I better get obsessed with getting ready for today’s photography outing or I’ll never make it out the door. I’m off to William O’Brien State Park soon.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I have jumped down the Ancestry rabbit hole more than once and lost track of time finding more and more people for family trees.


  4. I can lose track of time when reading through ethnic cookbooks. I try to have those little sticker tabs to mark pages with so I can come back later and actually cook something.

    I can also obsess about rearranging a room, a floor, or a house…


  5. I needed to dictate a psychological evaluation first thing this morning, and I was so concerned about getting it done that I actually dictated it in my dreams last night. It made it go really fast this morning at work, but I didn’t have a very restful sleep. I suppose that is sort of obsessive.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have committed to minimizing that as of today. Morning news, evening news, NYT alerts, but just the headlines.

      I truly believe the strategy is to wear out America’s outrage button, with a good dose of uncertainty anxiety on top.

      Grateful everyday I got to raise my child when we had an aspirational President, instead of the cautionary tale we are now enduring.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. “Cautionary tale” has to be the understatement of the year! I admire your restraint, mig, but it’s too late for me, I’m way beyond outraged.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Given that there is so much about this administration that children should not be exposed to, restraint seems best.

          Still remember listening to Obama’s address to school children his first year with the s&h. He talked about getting up super early to work on extra math with his mom before she went to work, because she felt the instruction at his school in Malaysia wasn’t sufficient.

          I believe she also told him this was no picnic for her either. Child of mine learned early to do all you can, no matter what.

          Today I guess you tell your child to always be honest, because otherwise the people who like you don’t know whether to defend the stupid thing you said or deny you ever said it.

          Hence: cautionary tale.

          Liked by 5 people

  6. Hey Kids!
    I can type and eat and do all the stuff tim was asking about.
    Ace bandages for a couple days; they say to keep the swelling down, but I think it’s really to make me behave. Kelly went to work. I took bandages off and did chores. Then I put the bandages back on. 🙂

    We have friend going down the Ancestry rabbit hole for us. It’s better that way.

    I obsess over light cues and fade times. I will nit-pick it to death. And after a certain point, the audience doesn’t care if it’s a 2.3 second fade or 2.5 seconds.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Currently I feel a bit like Frederick the mouse in the book by Leo Lionni, collecting all the colors in my mind’s eye and memory for when the stark whites and greys of winter arrive.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Okay, I’m with you on that, Anna. I have felt an urgency to get out and soak it all in. So, last week it was trips to the MN Valley NWR and Banning State Park. Today it was William O’Brien State Park and I have plans to go to the exotic location of St. Paul tomorrow to find Shadow Falls. And there will be others in the next several days. So, yes, I guess I’m obsessed with colors at the moment.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. PSA – Do’t know how many baboons are Richard Schindell fans, but thought I’d alert you all to an upcoming concert at the Ginkgo Coffee House:
      Friday, November 3
      Richard Shindell
      7:30 pm
      Tickets $25 plus sales tax

      Tickets for Richard Shindell can be purchased online at brownpapertickets.com/event/3098046. Tickets may also be purchased at GINKGO coffeehouse (no service charge is added if tickets are purchased directly from GINKGO coffeehouse).


  8. In answer to the question, who me obsess? Says the woman who has a three-ring binder with stickers that spell out Aruba on its edge. And colored tabs for hotel, air, and activities!

    Liked by 2 people

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