A fava primer

15 07 2012

This blog could also be titled, “Try not to be depressed with how long it takes to end up with so few favas.”

I like fava beans. But they don’t have a big ROI when it comes to effort. I have grown them once before and decided to plant them again this spring as soil fixers. Here’s the bunch I picked about an hour ago:

Here they are again with a ramekin for reference (I plan on putting all of them in the ramekin once they are blanched and peeled):

Now – to get to the point where you can eat them, you’ll need to shell, blanch, and peel them. Here we go…

They shell kind of like peas, but you have to really man-handle the squishy fluff filled pods:

Put them all in a pile, or you can be crazy like me and sort them into similar sized piles; they can really vary in size!

Bring some water to a boil, and toss your favas in to blanch. I do the large ones for a count of 90, the medium for a count of 60, and the small for a count of 30, starting with the large in the water and adding each smaller size as 30 counts has gone by. You really don’t have to worry too much about this; you’ll just end up with favas with different levels of cooked-ness if you don’t separate. Not a big deal. We’re talking less than 90 seconds here.

Strain out of the water with a slotted spoon and set in a bowl for the next step:

To peel, some people say you can squeeze and they pop right out. I do not find this to be the truth. I use my thumbnail to help the process along:

And once you get through all those little suckers, viola! 1/2 cup of favas.

I think I’ll make a salad with these, lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, and some parmesan shavings.



Lady! I’m busy shopping.

16 11 2010

I was at my favorite (spendy) fabric store the other day and the woman helping me find jacket lining fabric was asked for directions she couldn’t give.  Luckily I was there!

Our friendly tourist wanted to get from Britex to the Fairmont Hotel “on the hill” via “trolley”.

Out the door, turn right, walk to Powell and turn left. Catch the cable car at Market.  I thought about telling her she could catch it at Geary but that seemed too complicated…and besides – why ride the cable car for only 4 blocks? For $5!?

Erl the Helpful Stranger

22 07 2010

I haven’t posted about giving directions in a while but they’ve been given.  Here are a few:

17th St & Capp St (in front of our CSA pick up) to Petco; question hollered from an old beat up pick up:

How to get to Macy’s; “The women’s Macy’s?” “What?” “There are 2 different stores…”:

And our good old friend The Moscone Center:

Completely unrelated, the new Berry Yumberry smoothie from JambaJuice tastes like the fruit roll-ups of my childhood.

Erl & Directions

16 06 2010

This morning, in an effort to snag myself a free Clipper transit card, I got off the train at Powell Station with the hubby instead of Montgomery Station per the usual morning routine, adding 15 minutes or so of walking to my commute. When the streets aren’t yet full of people, I like to wind my way through the Union Square area rather than take the most direct route on Market Street.  Intricate buildings, sparkly sidewalks, just an all around pretty walk.

I was stopped by a man looking for the Moscone Center and boy is it a good thing he found me.  He was on the wrong side of Market Street and headed in the opposite direction of where he wanted to be.

Erl & Directions

7 04 2010

People regularly ask me for directions.  Today’s askers were a little crestfallen when I told them about how long it would take to walk from Chinatown to Japantown:

An hour.  It was either that or Haight/Ashbury.  But since they couldn’t figure out what I meant by blocks – as in: “go 4 blocks that way” “how long is a block?” – I patted one on the shoulder and said good luck.

A foreign touristing couple on the same walk back to the office were sure they knew me.  I told them I just have that kind of face.