The Suitcase Lady


September 3, 2013, 8:56 pm

“Better walk across your road and pick some beans,” my farmer neighbor advised. “The canning company is coming any day now to harvest them.”

I accepted his generous offer and yesterday walked down my driveway, across the road and into the massive field of green beans. I picked a modest bag full; some for dinner and some to freeze.

Since the day was sticky hot, I pondered what would make a good dinner entree with the just picked beans as a main ingredient. Our refrigerator is small, but it yielded some interesting ingredients, and the cupboards are always stocked with pasta. I created a cold pasta salad for our evening meal, and we ate it on the front deck as the sun set over the bean fields. We both pronounced the salad a success, a recipe to be written down and repeated.

The next morning we woke to a huge racket. All the cats were hiding from the clattering, clunking noises that were coming in the windows. Three giant Pixall harvesting machines were lumbering through the fields spitting beans into their hoppers. A semitruck was waiting to haul the multiple loads to the canning factory.

So it’s goodbye to the beans…but not quite yet. I have lived in the country long enough now to know I can second harvest. Those clanking machines won’t capture every bean.

Just Picked Bean Salad

(This is a general plan, not a specific recipe, feel free to improvise)

  • About two cups each of cut, lightly cooked green beans and al dente cooked pasta
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 handful snap peas, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Chopped chives or onions to taste
  • Celery salt to taste
  • Cajon seasoning to taste
  • Mayonaise to hold it all together


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