as you can see i have been getting up to all manner of leisure activities in the waning days of my winter break. a recent walk at the huntington gardens had me taking pictures of yellow things. on another visit i happened upon 2 marvelous exhibits remarkable works, remarkable times and beautiful science: ideas that changed the world. the science exhibition is arranged around four areas of exploration – astronomy, natural history, medicine, and light.
i pored over rare objects and manuscripts from the library’s extraordinary collections, especially thrilling over audubon’s birds of america and thoreau’s original manuscript of walden. the quotes in this post are a few that are featured in the exhibits.
finally after day after day of sunshine we hit the jackpot today with some gloriously gray weather and a bit of rain. a perfect opportunity to sit down and cobble together this post.
while in venice, i ate some incredible pasta e fasio (venetian style pasta & beans) that was not tomat0-based like the standard pasta e fagioli from other parts of italy. they use borlotti beans grown in the veneto at the foot of the alps. here in the u.s. we call them cranberry beans – a very plump brown bean that looks like a pinto bean, but cooks up larger. very flavorful!
today i set about to recreating that dish. i cooked the beans in my instant pot; first using the saute feature to cook up some onion & garlic in olive oil. then i added the dry beans and a good amount of water, 3 bay leaves, and a sprig of rosemary, salt & pepper. after they were done i put them on the stove for another hour to reduce down and thicken. i scooped up 2 cups of the beans and blended them until super smooth in the blender, then added that back to the pot on the stove. i added the pasta and let it cook in the thick bean stew. incredible! now i want to try my hand at some minestrone and more types of pasta fagioli. by the way that little crock i ate my pasta & beans in belonged to mama moss. i can just see her groaning with pleasure and soaking up the bean gravy with a hunk of bread.
i uploaded a video of my travel journal last week over on my youtube channel. you can find it HERE.
this is all the news that’s fit to print folks. i hope you’re well and enjoying an auspicious beginning to your new year. by the way…i watched 2 movies that i enjoyed very much recently.
on netflix: birdbox – suspenseful, ridiculous, yet thoroughly engaging.
then last night i watched arrival on amazon prime. wonderful, different, really good i thought.
mary kozak says
beautiful photos. that iris is absolutely gorgeous. i’m looking at snow and ice!
Ellen DeBoer says
Just watched the journal video…yay yay!! So fun to see all the stamps and postcards used!! Loved seeing a glimpse of your 2nd Venice experience. So happy you could have it! xoxo <3
Pennie Hardwick says
Today I looked at your travel journal and really enjoyed it. I have all these creative ideas that get stuck between my head and my hands. Truthfully, my heart too. Sometimes when I read your blog I think we could be besties! Other times, I admire your work as a creative soul and sometimes I admire your work as an educator. Today I realized I was looking for signs of how to live alone! It so surprised me, I thought I’d write because I thought you would be interested in that type (?) of follower! I am a newish widow and have been traveling since my husband died. Home is as foreign to me as Cambodia or Vietnam, which I’m going to next month. I like how happy you are and I’m beginning to believe if I reach out further and longer I may be able to grasp some of that happiness. So, thank you.
Mary Ann Moss says
“signs of how to live alone”
Pennie I think all of us who live alone at one time or another wondered this very thing. You’ll get it all figured out and hopefully in time you’ll come to cherish your alone time. This might take awhile since you just lost your dear partner/husband. Know that there are plenty of us out here rooting you on! Happy travels.
I am reading The Great Alone. Have you been to Alaska?
Mary Ann Moss says
Jessica Watson says
I love all the yellow living things! Beautiful! And that bean stew? Just Stop! Ha! Happy Birthday Mary Ann!!!
Leanne S says
Catching up on my blog reading. For a novice IP user, could you provide more details on the cooking of the beans??
Mary Ann Moss says
i cook them in the instant pot for 35 minutes – no soaking ahead of time
i don’t measure the beans or water, but i know i will transfer them to a pot on the stove so they can reduce for 1-2 hours. so i USUALLY add lots of water.
i believe that is the secret to really rich tasting beans.
you get a really nice bean gravy that way!
for this particular pot of beans i puree about 2 cups of beans in the blender until they are super smooth, then i add them back to the stove pot, bring the whole thing to a boil and add the pasta.
i don’t reduce these as much as i do my usual pots of black beans since i’m thickening the beans another way…
while cooking in the instant pot i put these things:
bay leaves, olive oil, onion, garlic, sprig of rosemary, salt, pepper
Judy H. says
Spectacular. Loved it all. <3
Jan Jackson says
These photos are stunning. What camera did you use? And thank you for the recommendation of the cranberry beans — I’d not heard of them.
Faith McLellan says
Maahvelous, Ms Moss! Keep those video recs coming. I’m reading Harry’s Trees. Early days but am enjoying it.
Ann Dettmer says
Those nature photos are absolutely stunning! Thank you.
wendy richardson says
LOVE the yellow things….😊. and the other wonderful pics as well. thank you!