I have been spending the last few days anxiously groping my broad beans. Not out of any wierd fetish – at least I don’t think so – but on my mother’s instructions not to pick the pods until I could actually feel the beans inside them. This is harder than it sounds, like so many of my mother’s instructions (‘stop hanging on the small muscles of your back!’) and after a while I was beginning to wonder whether I’d end up with nothing but bruised pods with flattened beans inside them. And besides, the slugs had already started on the biggest ones without me, which wasn’t the point at all. So I decided they were ready and picked and podded a handful for our supper tonight. The result almost – if you squint a bit – covers the bottom of a bowl.
All the same, I think my broad-bean-groping techniques might need a little work. The biggest were okay, but the smallest ones were disconcertingly … well, foetus-like is the only way I can describe them. However, I’m sure they’ll be delicious, and if they’re not you know I’m going to deny it anyway. For home grown vegetables always taste delicious; that’s the rule.