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Sunday, 15 August 2010

How many beans make five or Panic stations

I thought I'd have a change from trips down memory lane today although I am still beavering away on my memories and have plans to make a kind of scrapbook with pictures as well - only wish I could paint like Jill at Third Age Musings who posted yesterday of her childhood memories with some lovely artwork to go with them.

Since a change is supposed to be as good as a rest here's today's offering:

What is this new plant?

It's Yesterday's daily picking of runner beans and I have used a handy flowerpot to carry them into the kitchen not having had a proper trug like Nelson the gardener who used to ....... but no, I said I wouldn't go there today!

Sliced and ready but far too many for two of us to eat at one sitting and there will be more tomorrow so I decided to make some chutney. Lesley at Printed Material suggested this when I mentioned the productivity of our 2 wigwams of runner beans and I must admit I'd never heard of runner bean chutney but as is often the case once something is mentioned it seemed to pop up everywhere and I tasted some at the local Farmers' Market recently and liked it and then came across N number of recipes for it. This one is from Lesley who says it's from a Delia Smith cookbook.

I made half the recipe and with 1 lb of beans I got almost 3 jars. I woke up in the night and suddenly thought OMG I halved everything and half the quantity of onions would have been three quarters of a pound of onions and as I was busy making a quiche and a plum crumble for supper at the same time as doing the chutney I used three quarters of an onion or in fact one whole small one!

I managed to burn my arm on the oven when removing the pastry case for the quiche which caused me to drop it on the floor (I did rescue it though and although a little damaged filled it with egg mixture and it was OKish) and by now time was running short so the plum sponge I had intended had to be a crumble instead but as I had the turmeric and stuff for the chutney in the scales pan I guessed at the amounts and I didn't have quite enough but again it was OKish. Can quite see why when you see chefs at work their kitchens are often panic stations! And you should have seen the kitchen when I'd finished - looked like a bomb site! Moral of this tale is to concentrate on the job in hand and do one thing at a time!! So only time will tell if the chutney edible after all that and since it says to leave it for at least a month before eating I won't know for a while.

Will be back soon with some more memories for those of you who enjoy them.


  1. Fab blog but I just have to say.....One bean, two bean, one and a half and half a bean :-)
    Sorry I just couldn't resist.
    A x

  2. I wish I could paint too! Saw some wonderful watercolours yesterday. I keep having a go but I think I'll stick to what I know!
    The Chutney looks yummy.
    Julie xxxx

  3. Oh I can just imagine the chaos! I do hope the chutney is edible after all the trouble you went to.

  4. I have never tried runner bean chutney, shall be interested to hear what it is like. Some baking/cooking sessions just ARE chaotic, aren't they?

  5. Wow, that is a lot of beans, I hope the chutney tastes good, I have never made chutney yet. I keep meaning too, but have never got round to it! :) x

  6. Looks ike a bumper crop there Jane. I think its been a good year for beans because I have bags full in the freezer and there are more appearing every day! I've seen a couple of nice recipes so I may get around to making chutney soon. Yours looks scrummy! Good to hear that your veg garden has proved so bountiful!


  7. I have to say I have never tried runner bean chutney - not even any of my nan's weird pickling concoctions match this - it does look very good.

    take care,

    Nina xxx

  8. Hi Jane....I am glad I am not the only one who starts one job and ends up doing three. I am exactly the same in the kitchen, also the garden. I start trimming hedges, notice something en route, so stop trimming hedges to start the other job. I end up finishing I run out of time.

    The chutney looks great, I am sure it will be fine with a nice chunk of cheese......

    Have a good week....

  9. Aaah Jane, a reminder of why I don't cook, well I do cook, but I don't do baking. I am sure your chutney will be fine, chutney seems to be very forgiving and recipes very flexible. We have masses of plums so when they are ripe I thought I might have a go at plum jam - that will be a first for me. I have also got a recipe for plum chutney. Mr T makes a great pear chutney - but every year it turns out slightly different.But great non the less.

  10. Forgot to say, glad you are keeping all your memories in a scrap book, much nicer than them just being a word document.

  11. Jane,
    My Somerset grandad used to say 'how many beans make five' and then trot out the answer 'two beans, half a bean, a bean and a half and a bean' It's something I've never forgotten but you're the first person ever that has said the same thing!Hope the chutney turns out OK. If not, don't blame me, blame Delia. Lesley x

  12. The sight of those beans brings back wonderful memories of runner beans when we were children. Loved them, though by the time they were old and stringy, we had had enough!


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