Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fava Beans or Why I don't like to cook

So it was a nice day, and my friend and I were swinging through Half Moon Bay, Pescadero and all points south on a sunny weekend. Quite innocently, we stop off at one of those roadside Farmer's stands. Now I am all for the whole "buy local" and "organic vegis" and the like.

While perusing stands of Siamese twin looking cherries, juicy strawberries, jars of honey, big ass onions and mealy looking artichokes, I notice... off to the side...there's a huge mound of what appears to be giant pea pods. We covertly check them out, wondering what kind of fertilizer you need to grow a pea that big, when some yuppie chef type informs us that they are Fava Beans.
You know:
FAVA BEANS. The ones Hannibel likes with a nice Chianti and some dude's liver.
But I digress.

Fascinated, I naively purchase a buck's worth. Things I should have noticed:
  • They seem awfully cheap, compared to everything else at the stand
  • No one else was buying any. Not even the yuppie chef type person
They sit in my fridge for a week, being carelessly pushed aside in favor of the Jell-O pudding cups and low fat cheese sticks. Tonight though, I decide to do a little "cooking". In all honesty, this "cooking" has to do with tonight being garbage night, and I can compost the pods and all. I found out in very short order why these beans, like a B movie actress past her prime, are cheap and unwanted. To follow is a photo essay explaining why I will NEVER make fava beans again:

Step One: Admire the fresh produce you purchased and spend time feeling all "organic":
Step Two: Quickly discover the pods don't pop open as easily as pea pods do. spend 20 minutes splitting pods with a paring knife:
Step Three: Take photo of pods alongside a paring knife to prove just how monstrously huge these pods are:
Step Four: Peruse Internet for EASY way to cook fava beans. FAIL miserably, but discover along the way that fava beans must be removed from pod, blanched (look up blanched on to find out what the hell that means), then ice bathed, then shelled again. THEN you can cook them.
Step Five: Boil water while fava beans await certain death:
Step Six: after 20 damn minutes of waiting for 4 cups of damn water to boil, throw damn fava beans to their death:
Step Seven: Realize you have no ice cubes to use in preparing ice bath. Put cold water in bowl and hope for the best:
Step Eight: Drain damn fava beans and toss into ice (kinda) bath to cool them:
Step Nine: Spend another twenty minutes of your life that you'll never get back ripping top of bean shell and pushing "interior bean" from it's shelter into a bowl:

Step Eleven: Return to Internet in desperate search for a cooking recipe that doesn't involve adding pasta, meat, potatoes and falafel. Find one requiring only oil and a saute pan (look up saute on to find out what the hell that means) and then send the damn fava beans on their "final journey":

Step Twelve: Saute the damn fava beans for another damn 20 minutes of your life that you'll never get back. Continually add salt and then eat the damn things in 3 and 1/2 minutes:Step Thirteen: Wash the boiling pot, strainer, ice bath bowl, paring knife, saute pan and serving bowl and fork. Vow to purchase fava beans the old fashioned way next time:


Marina Anne Pape said...

Nice post! I am a Yuppiechef, but the good kind.

Thanks for the fava enlightenment.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you should stick with what you know... canned goods and such. Or a more positive approach that you learned something new and quit yer bitching.