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Tuesday, 25 August 2020


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A delightful story in two parts - the beans and the waterfall. No need for an illustrative photo on either, as your words created vivid mental imagery better than any photo. Many thanks, Mike.

What a simply lovely bit of writing.

Then there’s Nelson’s Bridge over a small stream in Costa Rica. So named because Nelson hit one of its guardrails with his truck and left a permanent signature. Not a very big bridge, not a very big truck.

Beautiful short story. The logic of the plot somehow reminds me of Alice in Wonderland, only this is real - after all, you’re a photographer, not a painter. Thank you !

A perfectly telling of life during a perfect morning. Thank you.

Just like the beans I savored the words, no butter needed.

This whole post just made me smile.

Hey Mike, you’re like Thoreau with a camera. 😀👍

Nice story, Mike. Life as it should be.

You may want to try a good first press virgin olive oil over boiled beans, instead of butter - the Mediterranean way.

Sure is off-topic, but nicely written!

Nice piece of writing. When I was a kid, I was made to work in vegetable gardens, not because I was good at it or my labor was really needed, but because it was "good for me." I don't know, maybe it was. From this days, I have harbored a great hatred for beets, but a great fondness for radishes and green onions. But apropos your taste for beans (I'm neutral on beans), people who haven't tasted a good variety of sweet corn, quickly blanched within an hour or so of picking, really don't know what corn can taste like. Hot, sweet, just a bit of butter. Nothing better in the veggie world, IMHO.

A small sign would seem to be in order, just so someone else does not change the name.

Green beans are a favorite of mine too. Several times, I tried growing them, and never had any luck. I always got lumpy beans, and tough. The wrong variety I suppose. I recall a picture you had posted Mike, of a purchase from your local farm stand. This was a few years ago. It may have been what pushed me to try growing my own.
I like them steamed or stir-fry with a drizzle of olive oil, and a bit of vinegar or lemon juice. I like my veggies, crispy. A snack is a raw carrot or a stalk of celery . My wife made broccoli the other night, steamed with a bit of oyster sauce. Loved it, though a bit salty, and I have to watch my salt intake.
I’d love to visit your neighborhood, it’s nothing like mine.

Count me as a great fan of green beans also. Butter is only used for fresh beans in our household but instead of salt try a little nutmeg. Every person I have suggested this to has become a convert. YMMV of course.

I Grew up in Brooklyn NY in an Italian Family. We had (for Brooklyn) an unusually large plot of land. My Father bought it in 1949 and made an apartment for my uncle (his Brother) and his wife. My uncle was an avid gardener and practiced organic gardening long before I ever heard the term. I would occasionally help him. I learned about double digging, sifting and adding compost to garden soil which was 24" deep. He even had a fisherman friend who would bring him bushels of sea weed which he would use as mulch and later turn in.
He grew Beans, tomatoes, corn, squash, cucumbers carrots, radishes, onions, spinach, lettuce, and Rhubarb. In the summer when the green beans and tomatoes came in together, my Mother would make Italian Green beans in Tomato sauce. I can still taste it.
There is nothing like 'just picked freshness'
Here is a nice approximation of her recipe, hers was probably a bit simpler.

A perfect picture in words of a slice of your life.

Mike: we live on different continents, we have decades between us in age, we’ve never met and our lives could scarcely be more different, you and I.

Yet I feel privileged to “know” you through this blog, your wonderful writing and the glimpses of your photographic and day to day life. This was a beautifully evocative little glimpse, that reminds me of my own childhood on the Welsh borders. Thankyou.

Thanks for sharing. It doesn't have to be about cameras all the time, as you've proven numerous times.

Man! You’re so good at writing.

This is why I come back. Not your pool or politics. You live in a blessed neighborhood and bless us with how it is to be there. I got a little misty eyed reading about those children. I could see her standing there, hands on hips declaring the name of the waterfall because of her friend. I also like when you write about photography too.

Or, a red lettuce day, as John Lennon might have said.

Beans are easy to grow. If you have a mostly sunny spot near your house, stick a cheap, narrow trellis or two in the ground, poke some holes, and insert bean seeds. Some nice varieties in the Burpee catalog. But, do continue to support local agriculture.

Kids occupy a wonderful world of their own making. I miss being with my two youngest grand kids (3 and 6), even though they live just 20 minutes away. My daughter has been very careful with coronavirus precautions. Necessary, but sad at the same time.

A truly charming post. Makes me think about leaving Arizona for the Finger Lakes...then I think about winter

Sweet stories!

I too forget to take photos of the beautiful food - before it's gone.


Maybe you've tried it but, if not, try Miyoko's Organic Cultured Vegan Butter - https://miyokos.com/collections/vegan-butter - instead of butter. If you can find it and feel you can afford it, that is. Not the same as butter, but still pretty darn good.

Green beans. Yuck

We live in a country area so have ended up fixing our own names to roads and junctions. I blame it on the motor car. 60 odd years ago most country people in Ireland walked or rode a bicycle so social interaction was greater and local names exchanged. Now the most you get is a wave from a passing motorist

TOP's editor-in-chief 'waxing lyrical' (in the literal rather than common sense of the phrase) on life at finger lakes provides welcome respite from the trials of this strangest of years. And writing these lovely cameos in what this European reader sees as 'proper American English' puts the icing on the cake. Thanks Mike.

Did I imagine it, or were you thinking of moving house? Are you crazy?! :)

A perfect day.

If I knew what “ green beans” were this might be the one occasion I can agree with your food recommendations, not that the others haven’t been interesting. I grow in my garden what we in U.K. call climbing beans or climbing French beans which are usually green but can also be yellow or purple and can be round (usual) or flat in cross section.

@ Richard Parkin.....
When I were a lad in the UK, we called 'em 'Runner Beans'
I remember in the early 1950's my grandma (Nan as we called her then) grew them. As did everyone else that had a garden in south London and had lived thru rationing.

@James. No, no, runner beans (which we also always grew in what is now South London) are an entirely different animal and much hardier in our climate than climbing ‘French’ or green beans. I am growing both currently. Runner beans are actually a perennial though only grown as an annual and a common variety is the Scarlet Runner. Green beans eventually ripen to become Borlotti/Cannelini etc, a common (and excellent) variety being Cobra.

Wow! It felt like reading Twain. I hope you take that as a massive compliment. What a nice change of pace Mike. Thank you.

Really special.

I'm just getting caught up with the last week of TOP. Apparently I was in your approximate neck of the woods this past Wednesday as I flogged a 26' U-Haul across I-90 from Illinois to my new home in NH. Gorgeous country you live in!

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