This is the recipe for the been salad I was making the other day when I wrote about in pottering about.
As I sat outside chopping the green beans, chop, chop, chop,
my mind was busy thinking about lots of things chop, chop, chop,
but soon I had quietened down, merely observing the knife going chop, chop, chop.
and I began to reflect on how the young beans were so easy to slice, chop, chop, chop while the older, tougher beans took more force to chop, chop, chop.
And in that moment I remembered myself as a young girl
and how easily I caved to worry, pressure,
and other people’s expectations –
Now that I am an older, wiser woman living in the moment
I am tougher and not easily pressured by other people’s projections.
Call me a stubborn old woman – but I have become a tough old bean,
Just pottering about.
What have you been up to?
One of the dishes I think my mother, Margareet Armstrong, will be remembered for is her curried bean salad. We ate it every summer. Here is the recipe she used from ‘Our Best Traditional Recipes‘ by Vida Heard and Lesley Faull.
Curried Green Beans
A Cape Speciality
500g fresh green beans, 1 large onion, 1 cup water, pinch of salt and pepper, 3/4 cup vinegar, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tsp cornflour, 1/2 Tbsp curry powder, 2 Tbsp golden syrup, 2 tsp mustard.
Cut up the beans by slicing the Dutch way or shredding; then chop the onion finely.
Saute the chopped onions until yellow and glossy, add the beans and turn a little; then add the water and seasoning. Cook for about 20 minutes or until almost tender.
Drain the water, add 1/2 cup of vinegar, sugar, syrup and mustard; cook for another 10 minutes. Mix the cornflour and the curry powder with the remainder of the vinegar and simmer for another 10 minutes. Serve hot or cold as salad.
Take care – and take the opportunity to reflect and just be.