My secret weapon

31 Jul

Every mother knows about arsenic hour. Some parents also call it witching hour, but the definition is the same.

It’s that hour before dinner when the kids are running in circles, screaming for pizza and you cannot find the cat. If you listen very carefully (which frankly is impossible) then you would hear it mewing piteously from wherever it’s been locked, right next to the defrosting mince and your best lipstick.

Actually we don’t even own a cat. I hate cats, and enjoy fantasing about them coming to untimely ends. But that is what would happen during arsenic hour if we did.

So to get through this time of the day, you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve. One of these is broad beans.

J loves to help cook. If she had a choice she’d like to boil water, chop pumpkin – all the dangerous stuff. I quietly suspect that paramedics wouldn’t really improve my arsenic hour, so I’m always on the hunt for kid friendly jobs to give her.

Take note, mothers. Shelling broad beans will entertain a preschooler for an hour. After that, you blanch the broad beans, then you need to skin them. Potentially an hour again. These babies are your friend.

And they are on their way. They are in full flower, and my biggest one is three inches long.

8 Responses to “My secret weapon”

  1. The New Good Life July 31, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    L you just made my day, my week, hell perhaps even my month. I dread arsenic hour everyday, Miss Two going bananas bouncing from hysterical laughter to floods of tears in seconds and the baby usually in a state of over-tired grumpiness it is one very loooong hour (well actually it is more than an hour stretching from about 4pm until my husband gets home sometime after 6 when I finally get some help). My broad beans are looking similarly impressive but not yet with actual beans. A very wise person said that nothing really starts to get going in the garden until the first week of August (in Victoria that is) so hopefully not long before we too have broad beans and potentially TWO HOURS of toddler entertainment. I might have to plant out the whole garden with broad beans next year.

  2. L July 31, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Glad I could assist 🙂 Broad beans are also great because you can freeze them easily. I love to grow things that preserve well with very little effort.

  3. ali August 1, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    Oh the flowers are very pretty… I have a feeling that it might not be the right climate for broad beans here… what do you think?

    My boys LOVE cooking… and I let them chop… but NOT boil… one day, I am sure, a finger is going to go…

    • L August 2, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

      I’m not sure Ali – I’d give them a go in the dead of winter next year – what’s the worst that could happen?

  4. Mrs Bok August 2, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    That is a brilliant idea!!!! I do love broadbeans but haven’t grown them this year. I had a lot of empty pods last year.

    • L August 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

      Eek Mrs Bok – empty pods! I never even considered that as an issue – I hope I’m not so unlucky.

  5. Liz August 5, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    Lovely photos and if shelling broad entertains the my almost 2 year old I will be enternally grateful. Now all I need is my broad beans to flower and actually produce beans and the experiment can begin. Can’t wait!!!!

    • L August 7, 2011 at 7:42 am #

      Thanks for visiting my blog Liz. Have you grown broad beans before? Did you have much success? I’ve been reading through your blog and enjoying all the great info and inspiring pictures.


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