Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Kitchen Adventures

I have cooked beans on and off for years: borlotti beans, chickpeas, split peas, lentils, kidney beans and white beans have all been cooked in my kitchen.
A couple of weeks ago I saw a bean I had never seen before, lupini beans. I liked the squarish shape of the beans and bought a pack. I expected them to be like all the other beans but a cuter shape. (My kids have mocked me mercilessly for buying beans on the basis of shape so if you think it's odd, you are not alone)
On Friday night I soaked the whole pack (a kilo pack) and on Saturday I started boiling them. Like I said, I expected them to be the same as all the others: soak, boil, strain, add to recipe and eat.
After simmering for an hour or so they weren't even close to softening. "Hmmm, these beans need a bit more cooking than I expected"
I decided on a quick google search. Lucky I did.
Lupini beans are full of alkaloids and are poisonous if not prepared correctly.
Soak, boil, soak in brine, change brine daily, repeat for fifteen days.

Apparently they are loved in Europe and eaten as a snack with a beer (think a handful rather than a bowl full or a little goes a long way).

I now have what was a kilo of beans, rehydrated it's more like five or six, sitting on my kitchen bench in brine. In twelve more days I'll have more brined beans than I know what to do with.

If I didn't laugh I would cry.

If you like lupinis and are in Sydney, you are welcome to a jar (or six)

Saturday, 7 July 2018

First Class Mail

I had an oddly up and down day on Wednesday. I was on an even keel when I went to my seniors group but then I didn't have enough money on me to pay for morning tea. It's only a couple of dollars and I had it at home but not with me. A bit embarrassing for the leader of the group.
One of the ladies was looking pale and mentioned an off tummy. It was on her second trip to the loo that she yelled out for help. Mrs Hungary is 90+ and becoming quite frail but tough as old boots in the mental department. Glasgow born and a former nurse, I don't think much bothers her but this time her panic was palpable.
She was white and dripping with sweat, unable to hold herself up so I called an ambulance. Paramedics agreed that her blood pressure was extremely low and ran a saline drip before they would even consider transporting her. I haven't heard any more about her condition but I don't imagine it's good.
After that I had a very late lunch, my daughter Caitlin has been waiting for a chance to take me to a new favourite sushi restaurant. It was delicious.
Toward the end of the day I checked the mail to find this package from Linda of Practical Parsimony. Linda had told me she was sending something and it had been delayed in the mail. We were both starting to wonder if it would ever arrive!
Someday soon I'm going to be dining on Mesquite marinaded something (chicken? beef?) and it will remind me not just of a thoughtful lady in Alabama but all of my friends met through blogging.

Thanks Linda!

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The week past

Last week was a lot busier than any week I have had in recent times: three days at work including two special occasions, one morning at Ernie's grave, the next evening at a friends place talking through a eulogy, then a memorial church service where we delivered a eulogy together. It was a little exhausting and just to see if I can deal with a challenge, the weather threw in a whole lot of rain so the ever present washing became a bit of a drama as well.

The book you see here is irrelevant  but I found it in the library at work and I thought it was so marvellous I had to take a photo.

The Salvation Army in Australia held it's first meeting under a gum tree in an Adelaide park so this scene from Ern's burial pleased me as I thought it would please him. He would have loved the great fig tree first of all and the nod to history would have been the icing on the cake.

Our national commanders visited work and by way of trying to dress up a fruit platter I added a Nutella dip. I noticed Mrs National Commander din't touch it but my boss almost licked it off the plate. Leftover Nutella went on crumpets today as an attempt to give everyone something warm and comforting on a grey morning. It's amazing what warm food and chocolate can accomplish.

This week I noticed that we have ducks on campus. I could see them from the kitchen window as I pottered with my duties, they were keeping the groundskeeper company after his return from holidays......probably hoping he would unearth some juicy worms. I'll try to get some photos of them because they are regular ducks but they are from now, MY ducks and consequently special.