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    Runner Beans

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    chris c
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    Runner Beans

    Post by chris c on Tue Jul 19 2016, 22:57

    Mine are starting to form but it'll be a while before they are ready to pick. I bought some in the greengrocer's, marked English but fairly obviously grown under glass (or polytunnel), they were the usual commercial quality but I picked out enough that were not coarse and stringy to have them with an oak smoked gammon rasher topped with melted cheddar, and still have enough over to decide if I'll have them as a spaghetti replacement with a Bolognese type sauce or to accompany my lamb chops.
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    Eddie
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    Re: Runner Beans

    Post by Eddie on Tue Jul 19 2016, 23:22

    @chris c wrote:Mine are starting to form but it'll be a while before they are ready to pick. I bought some in the greengrocer's, marked English but fairly obviously grown under glass (or polytunnel), they were the usual commercial quality but I picked out enough that were not coarse and stringy to have them with an oak smoked gammon rasher topped with melted cheddar, and still have enough over to decide if I'll have them as a spaghetti replacement with a Bolognese type sauce or to accompany my lamb chops.

    Some time ago we had a house with a large garden. We grew runner beans, they were always sweet and never stringy. Also, three types of tomatoes. Again sweet with very tender skins. We buy the best toms, but they taste nothing like home grown. Hydroponics I suppose, the plants never see real soil and fresh air and sun.


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    Jan1
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    Re: Runner Beans

    Post by Jan1 on Thu Jul 21 2016, 11:13

    ... and runner beans are a good source of vitamin C, folic acid and fibre. sunny

    I always enjoy a few with some Roast Beef or Lamb

    All the best Jan
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    chris c
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    Re: Runner Beans

    Post by chris c on Thu Jul 21 2016, 21:46

    When I was young we had an allotment garden down the road and grew most everything. Later when my old man had built a greenhouse he did tomatoes and preferred the yellow ones.

    My mother was the Runner Bean Queen, I used to piss people off no end boasting that I'd had my first runner beans before anyone else. 

    When we moved here she took a break from growing them, we used to get them from people down the road who had an allotment, until age and hip replacements forced them to give it up. 

    My other usual source is a retired farmer in a nearby village who keeps his hand in growing veg. I'll drop by tomorrow, see if his are ready yet.

    The secret is to pick them when they're still tender. Most commercial growers grow them on until they are tough because the yield is higher. I think the commercial toms are different strains, again selected for size rather than quality, and tough skins to make them easier to handle. Very likely they are less nutritious as the plants can only take up so much from the soil (or water) and dilute the nutrients into a greater volume of crop. Stuff from local growers via the veg and farm shops generally approaches home grown quality.
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    Re: Runner Beans

    Post by Jan1 on Fri Jul 22 2016, 18:34

    There is always something special about home grown, but yes, if you can't grow your own then I think Farm Shops / Farm Markets and your local grower, if you are fortunate to have some nearby do offer a good alternative.

    Thought this a nice recipe ...


    How about Runner Beans With Bacon and Hazelnuts ...


    Ingredients:
    Serves 4
    5g carb per serving
    500g runner beans, trimmed and sliced
    4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped into large pieces
    handful blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped
    2 tbsp wine vinegar
    5 tbsp double cream
    small handful tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

    Method:
    1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the beans for 4-5 mins until cooked, but still vibrant. Drain the beans and tip straight into a bowl of ice-cold water. Drain again and set aside.
    2. Heat a frying pan, tip in the bacon and sizzle for 4-5 mins until it starts to crisp. Throw in the hazelnuts and cook for another few mins until the nuts start to brown. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the bacon and nuts, but leave behind any juices and residue. Place the pan back on a low heat, slosh in the vinegar and sizzle for a moment, then stir in the cream. Return the beans, bacon and hazelnuts to the pan to warm through and toss them in the dressing. Tip into a bowl and mix in the tarragon just before serving.

    Recipe suggestion from BBC Good Food

    All the best Jan
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    chris c
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    Re: Runner Beans

    Post by chris c on Sun Jul 24 2016, 23:35

    Well I bought the last bag be had in stock, and had the pleasure of listening to Turtle Doves in his garden, something once common that has become a rarity in recent years.

    Of course another big difference between commercial and heirloom varieties is that the breeders select for "pest" resistance - ie. toxicity. It's impossible to tell a cabbage humans are meant to eat it and shouldn't be poisoned. 

    They do go well with bacon, next week I'll get some liver so I can have my classic liver, bacon, mushroom and runners. 

    I had the last lot with a disappointing gammon rasher from the supermarket rather than the butcher or farm shop. It was like those Bernard Maffews turkey burgers, made of bits of pork pressed together into a round shape, and contained dextrose. WTF? It's MEAT, not a damn pudding . . .
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    Wobblycogs
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    Re: Runner Beans

    Post by Wobblycogs on Tue Jul 26 2016, 07:39

    I have to confess that I prefer Asda's frozen young beans. I find that growing my own was only a success, if I could pick them when they were young and freeze them. It takes only a few days for runner beans to go over, and toughen the skins, which end up like little razor blades and get stuck in my throat.

    And Jan;

    I have become a devout fan of slow roasting. On Sundays, I put the joint in the oven at around 7 am and cook it on Gas mark 2, until lunchtime. Ohhhh delicioso!
    My butcher supplied me with a large shoulder of pork last month, and I cooked that on the shelf, with a roasting tin, underneath, to catch the fat. I put the roasties in the tin, about an hour and a half before the joint was done. (Sadly I can't eat the roasties of course, but they were golden brown, and had just enough 'crunch'. It took me all my 'won't' power not to eat some I can tell you!) The meat just fell off the bone, and I was able to package ample servings in foil, to freeze for salads through the week! Yum to the Nth power! sunny
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    Re: Runner Beans

    Post by Jan1 on Tue Jul 26 2016, 10:33

    Hi Wobbly

    Fresh vegetables can be great, but yes - they can go past their best !
    There is nothing wrong with eating frozen - always keep a supply in the freezer !

    Slow cooked Roasts, one pot meals slowly cooked are so delicious.
    I can (virtually) taste the Roast cooking now and it's only 10.30 and not even Sunday Smile

    All the best Jan
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    chris c
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    Re: Runner Beans

    Post by chris c on Wed Jul 27 2016, 22:39

    I have one of those bean slicers that strips off the strings from each side, that helps. But yes, if you miss one and it grows on too long it will become woody. You can get beans with different coloured flowers, red and white, a friend suggested it would be easier to find them all if the beans themselves were red . . . don't think I've had frozen runner beans but I do buy frozen peas which are generally better than the real thing, because they are picked at the point of perfection, and frozen spinach and broad beans.

    I was talking to an elderly retired farmer a while back, while he was enthusiastic about Barley Beef he was also a great fan of his (wife's) slow cooker for producing the tenderest meat.
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    Re: Runner Beans

    Post by Jan1 on Fri Jul 29 2016, 10:41

    ...talking peas, going back to my youth!

    I can remember sitting with my mum and Gran shelling peas - used to really enjoy doing this - happy memories.
    Nowadays, I occasionally use frozen peas, but it's always good to have a few frozen vegetable stand by's in the freezer.

    Hey, it's Friday how about some Runner beans served with a little butter and fish for dinner later?

    All the best Jan
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    chris c
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    Re: Runner Beans

    Post by chris c on Sat Jul 30 2016, 21:34

    Do you remember that spoof comedy programme called Brass? One of the characters was "pea-podding" - gluing the peas into the pods . . . yes I remember shelling peas, and eating them raw as I went.

    Had my first crop of runners yesterday, I ate five out of the six I'd picked. This lot are surprisingly long but tender. More in a day or two, they're coming through thick and fast now.
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    Re: Runner Beans

    Post by Jan1 on Sun Jul 31 2016, 12:47

    Hi  ... Yes, I can remember 'Brass' being on the TV but I don't think I ever watched the programme.

    But, picking the peas from the pod and eating them ... they tasted good Smile

    Glad that your runner beans are doing well, I don't think this years weather has been too helpful for home grown vegetables ... or has it?

    Has anyone else had any home grown veg?
    I wonder ...

    All the best Jan
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    chris c
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    Re: Runner Beans

    Post by chris c on Tue Aug 02 2016, 18:36

    They're coming thick and fast now, at last, I just had some more with a bolognese-type sauce covered in baked cheddar.

    This year I've generated a HUGE amount of biomass but the flowers have been very seasonal, only some things have done well. Some massive crops of rape now going through the combines. I saw some humungous carrots being harvested, and some onions - the smell almost made me order a pizza. Lots of growth on the road verges and hedges too but I think the barley has been and the wheat will be below average. The pea crop in this area is late, remains to be seen how well they do. I must ask around and see how people's veggies are yielding.

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    Re: Runner Beans

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