Tag Archives: cranberry beans

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Surprise!

I was away from home last week, working on the other side of the country.  When I returned, a visit to my farmers market was very near the top of my “To Do” list.  Once there, I found the summer produce season at its peak, and amaranth, corn, lemon cucumbers, sweet onions, green garlic, chilis of every variety, baby eggplant, carrots, zucchini, okra, edamame, sugar snap peas, English shell peas, cranberry beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, peaches, cherries, blueberries, and countless varieties of tomatoes, all found their way into my cart.

I still have no idea what I will do with most of it, but I can hardly wait to find out.  I love a surprise!

Surprise!

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Anatomy of a Cranberry Bean

When I was a little girl, my paternal grandmother had a sewing basket that she kept in the enclosed back porch of her Chicago home.  Inexplicably, at the bottom of the basket — alongside the needles, thread, and darning egg  — were more than a dozen shiny marbles, each different from the other.  I couldn’t wait to hold each one up to the light and admire its size, shape, color, and unique design.  Each year, when cranberry beans come into season, I am reminded of the surprise I experienced when I first found the precious and beautiful little objects in such an unpredictable place.

Cranberry Beans

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Lamb with Cranberry Beans and Red Chard

The lamb shank was cut osso buco style.  The cranberry beans were freshly shelled.  The swiss chard was ruby red.  The three ingredients cried out to be married in a single bowl, with little more than a bit of red wine and mire poix.  And we cried out in delight when we ate them.

Lamb and Cranberry Beans