I usually play solitaire. The repetitiousness of the game the challenge of the patterns, the rhythmic placing of the cards soothes my nerves and transports me to a trance-like state deep inside my most inner thoughts.
For a year now my life has been changing, every layer of discontent, self-doubt has been peeling away to leave the adult, responsible me.
I can no longer do as I please on a whim or a drop of the hat, being wild and free as if I was still 17 and the world and upcoming excitements and experiences are my oyster, yes my “raison d’être”. I have finally learned to step up to the mound of my adult life.
And you know what? I like it.
How did I get there you ask? How long did it take? Was it a difficult journey?
It took a long long time, almost 40 years! Yes it was difficult, painful, exhausting, exhilarating, depressing and joyous all at the same time. A roll-coaster of a journey with gorgeous shining stars like my child and deep deep wells of darkness.
What was the secret? Many years of professional guidance to teach me introspection and self-value!
And how do I keep myself balanced to do a full-time job plus a part-time job, and be a good Mom, a spouse, a lover, a friend, write 2 blogs, keep up with social media and cook every day?
Long drawn-out honest discussions in my innermost soul.
But now where there was previously only self-doubt and discontentment, there is self-value and encouragement, honesty and congratulation….. and this time there were fava beans to peel.
Fava beans you say??
Yes fava beans. I found that rhythmically slitting the cooked bean skins and squeezing out the cooked bean was very conducive to introspection.
I had a wonderful discussion with myself while peeling lava beans. Up and down the keyboards of the thoughts that entered my mind, following the twists and turns of things I have to do and remember to do, problems in friendships and possible solutions, dreams of vacations I can’t afford, hopes, wishes, hurts and worries.
But magically there was no self-doubt or self-loathing only the calming value of getting things off my mind. Using the virtual broom I learned to use in self-hypnosis last year to sweep all the gunk out, to reach that inner peace I so desperately need to find my happiness and keep my balance.
I have learned that only I can defeat myself if I let me and I try not to any more!
Introspection and fava beans – a sensational combination!
To reward you for having read my musings and maybe given some thought to your own introspection I am leaving you with a recipe for the Fava Bean Patties I made with the results of my “tour de introspection” inspired from a comment posted by “Venus from Australia” on Jamie Oliver’s online forum in 2009.
Fava Bean Patties
- 700 grams / 3 cups dried fava beans
- 2 tsp miso paste, optional
- 4-5 cups of water
- 1 finely-chopped red onion
- ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
- 1 clove of garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 TBSP of olive oil
- 1 tsp ground garam masala
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp ground Sumac
- sesame seeds, optional
- olive or peanut oil for frying
Preparation & Putting it all together
Place beans in a bowl and cover with cold water.
I was only able to soak the beans for 4 hours therefore some were still quite firm where as others were perfectly soft, I have also read that this depends on the age oft he beans. Soak overnight if you can and you can soak up to 2 days if you change the soaking water several times.
Rinse the beans and place them in a large pot with 4-5 cups of water – beans should be covered. Add 2 tsp of miso paste if using.
Bring the beans to a boil, then lower the heat to a slow boil and cook for 25 minutes for longer-soaked bean and 35 minutes for shorter-soaked beans.
Pour the beans into a colander and wait a few minute until the beans are cool enough to be handled. The cooler the beans become the more effort needs to be put into removing them from their skins.
Please note: Introspection should start here!
With a sharp paring knife make a slit into the side of the cooked bean shell and squeeze out the bean with your thumb and forefinger. Some will be easy some not. Continue shelling and introspecting until all the beans are peeled.
Place the beans in the food processor and process for about 4-5 minutes until the firmer beans have a „rough sand“ texture. For softer bean pulse until consistently reduced. Open the top and add the salt, 1 TBSP olive oil, the garam masala, Sumac, baking soda, chili flakes, coriander, onion and garlic. Put the top back on and process or pulse depending on the softness of the beans for 3-4 minutes. The grainy sand texture will remain but will now be moist.
Put the mixture into a covered container and let rest at least 30 minutes. Then with wet hands make patties or balls the size of felafel and roll in sesame seeds if desired. Let the patties rest a further 20 minutes.
Fry them in oil in batches turning them to ensure even browning – about 5 minutes altogether. Drain on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
These patties went very well with a batch of Ilva Beretta from Lucullian Delights’s recipe for Crunchy Polenta Fingers with Herbs & Sun-Dried Tomatoes