There are local dried beans at my market! I've been searching and begging for these for several years. Farmers told me beans aren't hard to grow, but I never got a satisfactory answer as to why local farmers were not growing and selling dried beans.
See, when you buy directly from the producer, most of the time you become acquainted and sometimes end up friends. Friends look out for each other. They take checks from you because you don't have cash. They track you down when you left behind your bag of produce. They greet your children and save treats for them. Like most relationships, there are awkward spots, like where you buy carrots at another stand and another market seller sees them sticking out of your bag. Or when you ask your farmer how much canning tomatoes will cost and it's more than you want to pay.
I love my farmers' market. I do also like the trade routes that bring me coffee, cinnamon, chocolate, tea, and olive oil. But I strongly dislike imported dried beans when we have the capability to produce our own right here.
Well. On to the Dark Days' supper. We loved this soup I made up. I cooked the meaty lamb bone with water and a splash of vinegar for a few hours, being careful to shake the rich marrow out of the bone into the broth. Added the soaked beans and a few garlic cloves. At the end, added some chopped onion, home-canned tomatoes, rosemary, fennel, and salt and pepper.
I made tortillas using this recipe - I have tried at least 4 recipes for tortillas and this is the one I kept and love. It's become our all-purpose flatbread.
We also had a gorgeous green salad with watercress, shredded turnips and honey mustard dressing (local honey, local horseradish).
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