I was thrilled to be able to purchase half a bushel of green beans from our CSA farmer Saturday (for a mere $20, I might add), but not so thrilled with the prospect of pressure canning them (30 pint jars, all together) by myself. Last year when we canned a like amount of green beans, there were three of us – me, Beloved and my Young Diabetic Friend – and we knocked it out in about half a day.
By myself, it took a day and a half.
Just cleaning, trimming and cutting them all into uniform-size pieces was a chore – it made the actual canning of them seem like a breeze. And of course, there was the whole process of getting out both canners (pressure and water-bath), getting all of the jars out of storage, checking the rims and lids to make sure they’d seal, etc. etc. etc. I’m not complaining; when a can of industrially-grown green beans can go for $1.75 at the grocery store, 30 pint jars of organic for $20 can be awfully attractive (so attractive, we’ll do another 1/2 bushel before the summer is up, along with tomatoes, pickles, carrots, squash, pumpkin and maybe even sweet corn, along with whatever else we can get our hands on). Besides, it may be a bit of work, but I really do enjoy it – there’s something immensely gratifying about preserving the harvest of the season, and it’s even more gratifying to be able to grab a jar of green beans or tomato sauce from your pantry that you put there yourself, especially in the dead of winter.
At any rate, that’s not the only reason I’m tired; Jolly had an emergency she had to attend to Sunday, so it was Meema to the rescue! I love having The G Man spend the night – we play outside, riding our Lightening McQueen tricycle and swinging and sliding on the play set in the back yard, coloring on the driveway with our sidewalk chalk and throwing the big Toy Story ball back and forth. We water the gardens and pick up acorns out of the yard, and watch the butterflies flutter around the flowers. Inside, we build castles with the blocks in the living room, and play with cars and the neat wooden choo-choo we got in Amish country; we play fetch with Scooter and chase him around the house. Bubble baths are always popular, and so is playing with our boats in the kitchen sink, and (of course) climbing on the furniture. So much fun…and so exhausting.
Especially when we have NO interest in going to bed, because Uncle Young One and his friend are watching television and playing video games and having a grand time. So we watch Harry Potter movies until we fall asleep in Papa’s recliner, and Meema doesn’t get to bed until 1:30 a.m. *yawn*
It’s days like this I’m grateful for pizza delivery for the boys (my Facebook status last night read, “There are little pepperoni hand prints all over my sofa…”), and simple dishes like this for me. I was fortunate enough to find 1 lb. cans of blue crab on sale for $8 (normally $16.99) a couple of weeks ago, so I stocked up. I also have a surfeit of cucumbers in my refrigerator, so it wasn’t much of a stretch to come up with the idea for one of my favorite dishes at our local Japanese restaurant – Spicy Crab Salad.
Simple. Easy. Quick. Whole30 compliant. And it makes a ton – it will feed eight to ten as a side salad or appetizer, and with the crab on sale it makes it cheap too. A double portion of it was just perfect for watching Harry Potter go forth and do battle with all manner of magical critters (“Look, Meema! It’s a dragon! He’s got wings – he’ll fly away!!”).
Note: Most of the time when you order crab salad at a Japanese restaurant, it’s made with imitation crab, so if you have a shellfish allergy or don’t eat it for other reasons, that is definitely an option. However, there’s added sugar (along with other stuff), so if you use the imitation crab it won’t be Whole30.
- In a small bowl, toss the cucumber with the 2 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In another small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, Sriracha and ginger. Place the crab in a large bowl, picking out any bits of shell or cartilage, and stir in the dressing. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Drain the liquid that has accumulated from the cucumbers and divide between eight small bowls; divide the crab into eight portions and spoon on top of the cucumber. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with cilantro, if desired, and serve immediately.
- Nutrition (per serving): 277 calories, 24.9g total fat, 88.8mg cholesterol, 302mg sodium, 249.7mg potassium, 4.8g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 1.8g sugar, 10.9g protein