"Hey Dad, can I call you back?"
"I bought fresh green beans at the store and I need to know how long to boil them."
"Okay. Would you do that?"
"All right. Bye."
The man has an internet connection and scads of cook books, and he calls me. Maybe he just needed to hear a friendly voice, maybe he really thought I'd know and so he'd get a quicker answer than he could find with his computer. Who knows? What I do know is that it doesn't take long to search for the answer and get back to him. But I'm still talking to the stylist, so I have Zoe call him back.
I watch as Zoe speaks to him quietly for a minute or two and then ends the call and I wonder how his beans will turn out. I hate to say it, but Mom used to over cook vegetables when she made them. I should have told Zoe to tell Dad to keep watch on those beans.
What's interesting to me is that he has his heart set on boiled green beans. And my guess is that it's due to Mom. Most of the time, if Dad brought home fresh green beans, it was because company was involved. (Fresh vegetables weren't always a staple in our house because canned and frozen veggies were cheaper.) Mom would pull out the recipe that involved lemon and mushrooms and green beans, and by golly, we had ourselves a party. I have to be honest: I hate my green beans the way Mom cooked them. I like lemon. I like green beans. I like mushrooms. I don't like them together. But when I think of green beans, I think of that recipe, and I find myself smiling.
I'm not sure what cook book Mom took the recipe from, but I found a suitable substitute online over at The Little Kitchen That Could. You can find the recipe (and its notes) there, or follow this one that I've adapted. (I left the link--I think--that goes with blanching the beans in the event you're not sure how to blanch veggies.) I also took the following picture from the same site.
Green beans and lemon and mushrooms, oh my!
3/4 pound fresh green beans (washed and trimmed)
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces mushrooms, button or cremini, cleaned and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
salt and freshly ground pepper
zest and juice of one lemon
What to do:
Blanch the beans in boiling water and cook for 4 minutes or so until slightly tender and bright green. Run the beans under cold water, drain, and set aside. Melt the butter in a medium pan (make sure it's large enough) over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes or so. (Stirring not needed.) Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add beans, lemon zest and juice to the mushrooms. Cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Serve immediately.
If you try the recipe and like it, please let me know. Just understand that you won't be eating beans this way at my house, ever.