The middle of August marks a big pick-up in the PYO department at the farm. To Schnookie it signals a time for getting more bang for her CSA buck (as well as an extra hour or two a week spent toiling in the fields). For me it should signal that we’re getting closer to a massive sauce tomato haul, but in all honesty, when I hear “PYO” I think “oh no — it’s the dreaded green bean”.
Here’s the thing, Gentle Reader, I love beans. I love baked beans, bean burritos, refried beans, bean chili, bean salad, beans in stew, beans in soup, beans and rice, bean cakes… I could go on and on. So really, I shouldn’t fear the green bean. I mean, it’s got the word “bean” right in its name! For some strange reason, though, I don’t hear “green bean“. I hear “green bean”. And what have we learned about Picky Eating Pookie? Greens are the enemy. (Except for chard, which I’ve come to discover is actually pretty darn good.) Moreover, because they’re shaped like snap peas (sort of) my brain skips the bean part, zeroes in on the green and then thinks pea. Nasty, nasty pea. It’s a recipe for madness, I tell ya!
It follows, then, that when Schnookie brought home a heaping basket of green beans late last week, I was not thrilled. Of course, I had to admit to myself that green beans are one of those veggies I’ve sworn to hate but which I haven’t tried in ages. I wasn’t being fair to the green bean or myself. So when Schnookie steamed some to go along side a BLT, I tried one. And it was… Okay. Not great. But I had a second one, so it couldn’t have been that bad. I didn’t have a third. So it wasn’t really that good, either. It didn’t taste like a bean, but it didn’t taste like greens either. You probably won’t be surprised to discover it didn’t taste like a pea either, but that did kind of shock me. The upshot of that adventure in picky eating was that I was confident I could continue to say green beans weren’t high on my list of favs.
Then Schnookie threw me a curve ball. A dastardly, dastardly curve ball. As part of her Project Things That Grow In Season Together Taste Good Together, she grilled up some green beans with some farm ‘n’ garden potatoes (the grill didn’t quite cook them fast enough, so they got some roasting action applied to them, too). This seemed to me a perfectly stupid way to ruin some awesome potatoes. Those things don’t grow on trees, you know! I could’ve taken myself off the hook, having previously fulfilled my Picky Eating With Pookie duties. But… [In a tiny voice:] They looked good. So I ate one.
The following dialog ensued:
Adventurous Pookie: Yummy!
Picky Pookie: Are you crazy?! That’s a green bean!
AP: I know! But it’s tasty!
PP: It’s a green bean. A green bean! It’s digusting!
AP: I dunno, Picky. It’s actually almost… sweet. I think I need another.
PP: Wait! There’s a potato on your fork, too! Don’t ruin that precious bite of potato with a green bean! [Tries to knock the fork out of AP’s hand.]
AP: Hey! That’s my food! My tasty, tasty food!
AP: [Savors the mingling seasonal tastes of fresh potato and green bean] You don’t get it, Picky. This is remarkable. The same green bean that tasted tired and bland yesterday is now sweet and buttery. Something about that grilling and roasted completely transformed it.
PP: Yes, but it’s green. We both know things that are green are nasty.
AP: Oh, that’s not true. What about pistachios?
PP: You don’t like pistachios.
AP: No, you don’t like pistachios. I like how smooth their nutty flavor is. So there.
PP: Oh yeah? Fine. Pistachios. All other green things tasty nasty.
AP:What about M&Ms? And tomitillo salsa. And mint chocolate chip ice cream. Those are green!
PP: Not white mint chocolate chip ice cream. That’s not green.
AP: Whatever, Picky. Whatever. Leave me alone. I’m busy making sure I have enough green beans on my plate so that I don’t have to eat a potato without one.
PP: I don’t know who you are anymore.