summer solstice = fava beans and mead

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yesterday marked the solstice, and as good a time as any for eating the only batch of fava beans we are gonna harvest for the year.  fava beans seem like a lot of work for such a small amount, but i do love them, and we have been growing enough for at least one meal for the last several years. getting favas ready to eat is some work, first they have to be removed from their shells.

then the outer membrane needs to be removed.  i’ve found the easiest way to do this is to put them in boiling water for about five minutes and then shock them in ice water for another five, then nick the membrane open and squeeze the bean out.

combined with the fava’s are some garlic scapes and basil out of the garden, last year’s sun dried tomatoes from the larder, and not shown in this picture, pea shoots from the delicata.

throw this over some pasta, add a salad made with some of the massive amounts of greens we have coming in from the garden, and you have a pretty great solstice meal.  pair with  first tasting of the 2010 dandelion mead.

i’m always impressed by how they go into the bottle tasting unbalanced and rather hot, but given some time to age and mellow, and they come out very nicely balanced.

finish off with a strawberry pie, and  i’d say it’s a pretty perfect way to start the summer.

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