Green Beans

June 17, 20112 Comments

SPRING 2011. GREEN BEANS. 06.17.11

Fee-fi-fo-fum! Remember the story of Jack and the Beanstalk? I recently became reacquainted with this classic folk tale, only to be horrified by its blatant immorality and violence. Somehow, I had blocked out the lying, stealing and killing woven throughout the plot. Really? Surely, the story ends with a redeeming lesson, I reasoned.  I hesitantly continued reading to my wide-eyed children, uncertain of what hideous turn of events lay ahead.

In short, Jack’s mother sends him out to sell their only cow. Instead, young Jack trades the cow for “magic” beans and starts down a nefarious path of lies, pillaging and destruction. But in the end, he gets the girl, the riches and lives happily every after. No prison sentence. No parole. Not even a hint of guilt, apparently. (To be fair, in the version we own, he ends up rich, happy and living with his mother, but that’s a topic to be addressed another time). What kind of story is that? Not the kind of ideas I want filling impressionable young minds before bed, or any other time for that matter. Let me warn you now. If you are looking for meaningful life lessons in your nighttime reading or even just a nice story, I suggest barking up another beanstalk (might I suggest The Giving Tree instead?).

Where the fairy tale falls short in the family values and child-appropriateness departments, it does seem to have one thing right – there is magic to be found in the bean. Looking for a green vegetable to round out just about any meal? The green bean’s got you covered. Want to add more vegetables to your salads? The green bean is the answer – blanched, preferably. Need a nutritious item the kids can dip into hummus or dressing? That’s right. You guessed it. Rich in fiber, potassium, folate and too many vitamins to list here, green beans provide an easy-to-prepare option that’s also a hit with kids. If you can stand it, let the kids eat them with their fingers. Or if you’re really brave, challenge them to build a log cabin with the beans, then watch them demolish the house, eating it layer by green layer.

If you are tuning in now for the first time in a while – or if you are new here, welcome!! – allow me to point out some fun new site features. I’ve reorganized the photos page with tons of new images designed to make you drool. I’ve been truly tickled by the recent attention, so I’ve also added a press page. But the best is yet to come, my friends. Next week I will be revealing a new regular site feature I think you’re going to love. Stay tuned, stay cool and most of all, stay away from anyone trying to sell you “magic” beans.

2 responses to “Green Beans”

  1. Alicia, you won’t believe what I’m cooking tonight–yep, green beans, the first this season from my farmers’ markets. I’m going to steam them until they’re crispy-tender, then toss with vinaigrette, chopped tomato (also the first of the season) and top with a little crumbled ricotta salata, one of my favorite Italian cheeses. Oh, and btw, I think I read that same Jack and the Beanstalk story to second graders when I volunteered at my kids’ elementary school. It does send a rather dishonorable message, doesn’t it! Cheers.

  2. I am new to your site (found you through Eating is Art – great photos of you!) and am so pleased to have found you. I am a green bean lover, and also a fairy tale lover, so your post made me smile. Looking forward to seeing your new feature!

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