I’ve been asked many times how I prepare runner beans for the steamer and the table, so here is a little video showing the correct way to do it:
One thing I forgot to say on the video is ‘you need a sharp knife’.
It’s been a very good year for rhubarb in my English garden this year. Above is a picture of some stalks I picked the other day, and was glad to give away because there is only so much rhubarb you can eat as a family!
The leaves were gigantic as well. Here I am holding up two of them. They look like umbrellas, don’t they.
It has also been a very good year for runner beans:
and we have been eating them for a couple of weeks now. They are really a colder weather crop and so long as they get plenty of water, they always seem to do just fine. I prepare them as I was taught when I was small. My mother was very particular about the cutting process and I had to get them just right. The thinner the better. Later on when I got married, I bought a bean slicer, but it never did such a good job. Now I buy a new knife every summer and use it for the first time when the first beans come in from the garden. That way I get the best cut, just so long as it’s not my fingers!!!
We have lots of tomatoes, but they are not ripening very fast. We need more sunshine, please?
Lots of people have been clicking on a post I did last year about propagating geraniums. I’ll tell you how this year’s babies are doing next time.
I greet you from a very rainy England 🙂
After a slow start, the beans have come on in leaps and bounds and we have already had three meals for three people from them.
Good results down on the allotment too, as you can see from these pictures, taken at Stockwood Park:
Yes, it’s been a very good summer. Now the fields are golden and the farmers have been busy, bringing in the crops and already there is a slight hint of Autumn in the air.
We got off to a very slow start this summer. Everything is late and here at the cottage there has been some replanting. The gardener has had to replant his runner bean seeds because first they didn’t germinate properly – owing to the cold Spring and then when they did, something ate them under the ground. Every morning we went out to look, but nothing! Finally we gave up and planted some new seeds. As I speak on 18th June the little plants are about 3 inches up.
My Morning Glory seeds germinated and then got water-logged and cold and died so I had to buy another packet of seeds and replant them. They have just germinated – watch this space.
However! despite all that the garden is a riot of colour as you can see here. Come take a look…
Here and there some lichnis growing fast (that’s the grey foliage in the bottom left hand corner of next picture).
The bees are happy and that’s the main thing! Happy gardening peeps.
How have you found the weather has affected your garden (if you have one) so far this year?
These are the very first runner beans, picked on 10th August 2012. They are about six inches long. Eight inches is the best size for eating since if you pick them before that they get too long, they won’t be stringy. We had such a lot of rain in the early part of the year and through the summer, that the beans are at sixes and sevens. They are really a crop for the late summer. During the one week of really good sunshine we had, lots of flowers appeared and therefore lots of beans are coming. We will probably have a glut fairly soon.
The Sweet Peas were slow to get going too but now they are coming daily. Such pretty flowers.
With all the rain we’ve had this Spring and Summer, the rhubarb has been wonderful! Only problem has been what to do with it all. My favourite is rhubarb crumble and I’ll be posting a recipe for that in the near future. Meanwhile, it’s going to be rhubarb and custard, a perennial favourite.
The potatoes came out of the ground on Sunday this week. These are King Edward’s. Don’t they look fine. I had a few of them for my dinner on Sunday and they tasted delicious. I wondered if they would be a throw away crop, totally saturated with all the rain, but no, they had grown bigger than usual but they were all ok.
Also in the vegetable garden, there has been an excess of flowers on the runner beans and we have some embryo beans coming along. Look closely at the next picture and you will see what I mean. When my grandson Dylan gets back from Sandy Bay, with his bucket and spade, he will be delighted that his beans are growing strong. I still haven’t told him about the giant at the top of the stalk!
Let’s have a close look at these gorgeous flowers. No black beetles on there yet!
Happy Gardening folks!