Runner Bean Chutney

DSCF3417We bought some runner bean um .. seeds? beans? to plant this year – along with most of the other things we bunged into the ground, it was a massive experiment.  We’d never grown them before and really didn’t know what to expect.  Well .. we had a rough idea as my Dad grows them regularly .. but its a different pole of beans growing them and tending them yourself, as opposed to looking at his huge contraptions draped in green stuff.

I bought a bunch of canes and basically made up some sort of framework for them to grow up, but my Dad had mentioned he’d only had less than half of his beans come up, so I thought I’d increase my chances and plant double what I needed.  I hadn’t realised I’d bought the bean/triffid cross variety …

They went mental.  You could virtually see them growing.  They got to the top of the framework I’d built and, even when I’d snipped the tops off, they still kept going up (apparently they can keep growing from below and push the tops up).  I probably missed a few tops too, because every single bean sprouted and it got difficult to keep track.  On the plus sides … we’ve not had ANY need to buy beans this year.  The flowers are lovely and the bees have been in buzzy heaven.

On the down side .. I’m really not THAT keen on runner beans – I prefer French Beans .. only at the time I hadn’t really worked out the difference!

Anyway .. one of the recipes we discovered early on (my sister-in-law had made some from her crop the year before) was this chutney … it’s gorgeous.  It’s sweet and spicy with just enough crunch.  It goes really well with ham, sausages, pork pies and various sandwiches such as cheese or bacon … we’re regularly discovering new ways to enjoy it!  Which is probably just as well, considering the crop we’re getting!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp cardamon seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 120 ml vegetable oil
  • 225 g sugar
  • 100 ml white wine vinegar
  • 750g runner beans, topped & tailed and chopped into fairly small chunks
  • salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Soften the onion, garlic and spices in the vegetable oil for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar and vinegar and simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and simmer for 30 minutes.

I would recommend starting off with about 1kg of beans, as you reduce the weight when you top n tail.  Also .. for those larger beans, I tend to use a peeler to run along the edges to remove that “stringy” bit you sometimes get.

I cut mine into fairly small chunks .. perhaps 1cm long … but it doesn’t really matter .. it is down to your preferences.  Just remember that it still needs to be easily used later!

This makes around 3-4 standard jam jar sized jars.  Pack the beans down well, and fill any gaps with the liquid left.

Enjoy 😉

Slacking … again

Yes, I know. No excuse. Well, I’m going to make some anyway … but first …  I got a surprise visit from Navimie of The Daily Frostwolf. Apparently she’s been stalking me for a while, but I’m a hard woman to track down 😛

Unfortunately I’d just gone into an LFR with a couple of guildees when she contacted me, so I was conscious of her sat waiting for me to finish, but things were going smoothly and I get very little chance to run LFR’s due to work and other real life stuff – as well as our normal guild raid night(s) etc.  Unfortunately things started going downhill when we lost tanks, then people forgot the tactics (or got distracted *eek!*) … so when we wiped on the last one, and one of my guildees (who also happened to be my OH (erm … Other Half .. for those not in the know!)) had to leave to fulfil his duties as a taxi service, I left too.  Massive apologies to the remaining guildee who I’d forgotten about!!

Anyway, we managed to have a brief chat before she had to go off to work, and I got to show off my new pet:

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She also gave me a talking to for not updating my blog 😛

So … what have I been doing to keep me away from blogging?  Hmm .. gardening (is that a bit sad to confess to?) is one of the main things.  Not that the actual planting of seeds and tending them took a huge amount of time, but we splashed out and had some raised beds put in the back garden, and we perhaps overdid the produce .. so we’ve been frantically trying to eat it all!  We grew: potatoes, beetroot (3 types), courgette, salad leaves, turnips, runner beans, celeriac, garlic, sweetcorn, leeks, strawberries and raspberries.

This little lot was all collected on one day …

DSCF3547So we’ve spent many hours trying to work out what do to with them all .. the beetroot, beans and courgette have all gone bonkers.  The beans especially have grown triffid-like, to the point where their “wigwam” has buckled under their weight and we’ve had to prop it all up in a Heath Robinson method.  It has survived through several very windy days and nights, torrential rain .. we’re just waiting to see if the onset of winter will finally kill them off, or if we’re going to have to go in with machetes!  On the plus side, the bean relish is lovely, only takes 30 mins to cook, and can be eaten straight away 😛

I spent an entire day one weekend making a silly amount of spicy green tomato chutney .. I won’t know if it worked for a few months though.  In the next week or so, the remaining beetroot is getting the same treatment.  If we find enough jars 😛

Other than that .. it just seems to have been a constant round of housework, shopping, ironing, filling in various forms, birthdays and trying to fit in a bit of relaxation on the computer as well.  Oh .. my printer died as well, so I had to do some research on buying a new one (which is brilliant, by the way .. new Canon Pixma IP7250 – it actually prints out photographs that look like I’ve had them developed “properly”.  Well chuffed 🙂 )

Kids are happy too, as it means their homework doesn’t look quite so bad anymore.

When I have had time to get into WoW .. well, one day a week, minimum, is raid night.  Three nights a week I can only spend an hour or two maximum on, on an evening (sometimes manage to sneak on during the day though, for an hour) .. the remaining three evenings are taken up with LFR, helping guildees or just farming.  I have soooo many projects half finished it’s just not funny any more.  I had set myself a project of making the various engineer mounts prior to having to save for the new Golem one, but only got two of the oldest done.  I’ve been trying to collect all the pets, and have nearly all of those tameable from the wild, but still many many to go that drop off bosses, etc.  I’ve also been trying to collect mounts, but I’ve only managed to make a half-hearted attempt at farming Kara and Auchindoun.  Then of course the Timeless Isle turned up … *sigh* …

I’ve just started to attempt the Celestial Tournament – mainly because I really want those cool pets, but it has made me aware that there are still a lot of pets that I seem to need, that I haven’t got to level 25 yet …. so back to BBB’s method of levelling them.WoWScrnShot_101113_085501

I’ve also been having a bit of a play with my User Interface.  The default one had been annoying me for a while .. I think primarily because of those graphics either side of the spell bars at the bottom.  Icy Veins had been pushing people towards Elvui, so I had a crack with that, and it is a really nice interface … immensely customisable but not particularly pretty.

I’ve been toying with the idea of trying Spartan UI for a while – I first considered it years ago, but at the time I just couldn’t get it to look right on my fairly small monitor.

I’ve upgraded my monitor (probably more than once) since then, and I spotted it on a screenshot elsewhere recently and was reminded of it again.  I looked into it, but found that the original authors no longer seemed to support/update it.  However, someone does seem to have taken it over, so I’m giving it a go.  I’m having a couple of problems with it, which primarily boil down to not being able to set how I like the layout on one character and then being able to copy that over to another.  For example, I tend to offset the interface slightly to the right, so I have more space for my chat window.

Sure .. there is the “copy profile” option there, but it doesn’t seem to work.

The other problem I’m having is almost the opposite .. sometimes when I sort the bars out for one character, it affects the location of spells, etc, on another.  So still trying to break it in, at the moment.

I would also like to be able to use my standard key bindings as I did with both the Blizzard and Elvui interfaces .. in that those buttons on the bottom left row were assigned to numbers.  I have done this, but I suspect that, in SpartanUI, the “bottom left” bar from the other interfaces is actually the “top left” .. meaning that when another vehicle bar pops up I can’t use my number buttons any more for the vehicle buttons.  And another thing .. in pet battles, the SpartanUI disappears, as it should, however, it is still there when I’m on my farm weed wrangling … ?

I guess I’m just going to have to spend more time staring at my screen scratching my head ….