This was our first dinner at home. I was out of fresh vegetables, of course, having pickled all the carrots before I left for London. But the night we got home, I pulled a container of black beans charros and rice from the freezer so I could warm it for dinner the next day.
I have a backlog of green beans in the freezer, too, and I added some to the meal. I froze these beans two years ago, when my crop did better than I expected—and during the summer, when produce from Terra Firma Farms is most plentiful, to boot. There they still are. The Community Garden is a subject for another entry, but let me just say that it has not been a smashing success. I've been able to grow some things, but not enough to replace the CSA. Nor have I had success in growing the things Terra Firma Farms doesn't provide, like salad in the summer, or plum tomatoes for canning or drying. Anyway, I harvested these green beans an embarrassingly long time ago, and it's time to eat them—what's the use of freezing food, if you never eat it?
I prepared the beans very simply: warmed them, then tossed them in some olive oil in which I had sauteed some garlic. I chopped some fresh thyme from the plant on the deck, and sprinkled it into the beans. As it turned out, the beans were a bit soft—I think I overcooked them when I was blanching them to freeze—but the flavor was very good. I'll do this again.
For this meal I also put out some of the carrot pickles from the new recipe I tried right before I left. They are very good—a rounder flavor than the dills I made before that. Interestingly, none of the garlic in these new pickles turned blue.
I tasted the new-recipe pickles the night before we left for our trip. Since then, the flavor has become more sour—they never tasted sweet, but overall, the flavor seemed a bit more complex then than it does now. I may want to experiment with the addition of more sugar, using this recipe as a base. I'd also like to learn more about the difference between dill seed and dill weed when used in a brine. Whatever modifications I'd like to make, these pickles are terrific—highly recommended.
It was a good meal. It was nice to be at home, eating at our own table, and it was such a treat to be able to eat food I'd fixed before we left for our trip. I need to try to cook ahead every time we travel—there's always so much to do when we get home, and if I've planned well, little fresh food to cook with, anyway. It's good to be home.
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