In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to Make Fava Beans (No chianti)

They are totally lovely, despite the grisly and seemingly permanent association with Hannibal Lecter.

yay, fava

But they sometimes seem a bit more trouble then they are worth. I only recently dived into fava world, and it might be useful to have someone tell you how to make this gorgeous, silken, bright green beans that have absolutely NOTHING to do with lima beans which I hate.

boo lima

limas taste like they are wearing wooly sweaters. Cast them aside! Succotash is terrible!

so, favas.

First you have to take them out of their pods. It's like shelling peas.

Then you throw all the beans into a pot of boiling water and boil them till they feel done -- a few minutes. The outside will be wrinkly like your pinkie when you sit too long in the bath.

Then you have to peel them AGAIN. It's such a pain in the ass but so worth it.

here's the easiest way to do it: Grap a paring knife and make a little cut in the wrinkly skin -- not too deep! just like a paper cut -- then squeeze. A slippery green bean, maybe two split halves, will slither out. Saute in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, a little garlic if your tastes run that way, and serve warm with a shaving or two of good parmesan. Eat.


  1. I had no idea fava beans were such a pain in the butt to prepare! Although it sounds delish; I must admit, I'm probably far too lazy to do all that.

    Hey speaking of doing all that - after your post about free-range chickens vs. the actual, right kind of chicken, I did some research, and found, through Eat Wild's site, producers not only of delightfully happy chickens, but also beef, pork and lamb; right here in Ontario, easily obtainable at a butcher near me.

    So thank you for that - in the last week, we've been eating poultry and red meat that came from once happy animals. (That sounds depressingly Cruella deVille-ish, but despite that, I know it's a good thing.)

    And seriously, thanks! We were spending a lot of money on crap meat and poultry without knowing it.

  2. wow! great testimonial! and so happy to hear it. You're also putting money in the pockets of farmers who do things right, which eventually means other farmers will join them, and youi're opting out of unnecessary cruelty. yay you! spread the word (also I think you'll find the chicken tastes much much better. I still find grass fed beef a bit strong... requires some sdteak sauce. It takes some getting used to but only because my tastebuds were trained on feed lot grain fed beef.). If you havent read The Omnivore's Dilemma, you might enjoy that -- lots more about Joel Salatin, the farmer who writes for Flavor, and industrial farming practices. And yay! the animal kingdom thanks you!