Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Limas

My uncle who has the family farm called my parents and asked them if they wanted to pick limas, which have finally matured (they take three months!).  And my mother called me and asked me if I wanted to join them at 6am on Labor Day morning.  Yes!  Just my kind of Pioneering-Adventure-Lite.

I have picked beans before, but never limas.  You have to throw the plants over and pick the plump ones which start near the bottom.  I never got a rhythm, but I got soaked by the dewy plants in the process; in fact, I got so cold (the sun didn't rise until 6:37am) that my fingers started getting numb.

We each had a bucket, but my parents used to have big gardens and they filled their buckets speedily.  I even started to complain:  cold! wet! hungry! unripe limas!  But actually, I was having fun, shooting the breeze with my parents while we picked and hollering at my dad when he stopped picking to talk tractors with my uncle.

I came home with a bucket of unshelled limas - put them in the fridge to make them easier to shell, on my uncle's advice.  I heard that maybe the limas cost $18 a bucket, but my dear dad did not let me pay for mine. 

The children helped me shell them the next day. 

I finally finished shelling them in front of this excellent movie and finished blanching and bagging at 11:45pm.  Yield: 9 two-cup bags, 1 three cup bag. 

Ordinarily I would find a way to go to bed earlier, but I was inspired by my mother's stories as we picked limas.  She told me she stayed up late many nights finishing preserving projects, and actually I do remember my father frenching green beans at the kitchen island while my mother went back and forth at the stove, blanching them.


Christian - Modobject@Home said...

So that is where lima beans come from! I learned something today.

beth said...

A fun and useful day! And you'll have such good memories of time with family!

Laura said...

My kids love shelling limas! And that IS an excellent movie/series!

Natasha said...

I had no idea what lima beans even grew on... thanks for the education!

Alica said...

I just now read this post...just a few years late! (saw your link on today's post) Lima beans are the reason I have a garden...they are miserable to pick and shell...but oh how our family loves to eat them! :)