Blogmas Day 22: Green Beans

Blogmas Day 22: Green Beans

The first day of winter has arrived. I awoke at 5:00 a.m., wandered into the living room, turned on the Christmas lights, and fired up the laptop. It was still dark outside at 6:30 a.m., and I assume it will be another dreary, grey day. Now that people have moved into the rental units, we have streetlights behind the house as well as in front of the house. This affects the interior lights and shadows, and will take a bit of getting used to. No nightlights needed to see our way around after dark.

Attila and I went grocery shopping last night. The store wasn’t that busy, which was surprising, considering how close to Christmas it is. We bought a few wee treats for Christmas Day, a bit of chocolate, a few light crisps, fresh fruit, and fruit juices. Hopefully it won’t be necessary to venture out again until late next week.

The sun came out in the afternoon, and the temperature rose just above freezing, so the snow on the roof drip, drip, dripped down.

Attila decided he wanted to do BBQ chicken, his favourite. I won’t be eating it, it isn’t my favourite. While he has the charcoal BBQ fired up, he will also cook a package of sausages. Attila loves his meat, and he is very fond of processed meats. They aren’t really good for anyone, but they relieve stress for him, after a miserable day’s work, so there is an indirect health benefit. Of course, I rarely eat processed meats, although I do find them tasty, they make me feel crappy, and they are very high in sodium and saturated fats, two things I have to watch carefully.

Since Attila was cooking his own dinner, I cooked my own. I love Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice and Mixed Vegetables, so that is what I made for myself. I used the Instant Pot, and water from cooked green beans for the water in the recipe, and it was oh so good.

This autumn a local retail outlet was selling 2 kg bags of french cut green beans for $1.99, which is an excellent price in our area. It turns out they are a little bit tough. Attila decided to have them with his BBQ chicken, so I offered to cook them in the Instant Pot for him. That is a YES, they were tender and tasty and almost like fresh green beans from the garden. I cooked them for 4 minutes, after putting one cup of water in the pot, then adding the butterfly steamer, then pouring in the green beans. After pressing the pressure cook button, it was just a matter of waiting until the pressure button dropped and opening the lid.

The Instant Pot can take less than top grade vegetables and meat, and turn them into something delicious, something to look forward to.

I was thinking today about the popularity of twitter and instagram and youtube, short on language, high on images. I used images and icons to teach people who could not speak to communicate. However, learning from images and icons does not necessarily provide the thinking skills needed to read and understand written language. Communication skills had to be taught independently of written language. It seems that the general population is focusing on communication skills, almost to the exclusion of written language. I feel sad about that.

This online writing of mine is becoming less and less mainstream. I thought about videos, about twitter, about Instagram. But I like it here. I like the written word. I like reading it. I like writing it. I’ve never been much of a follower, and I don’t think I’ll be following the trendy visual and truncated language route to communicate. I will continue to write full sentences, as many as I would like.

Then I was thinking that eventually no one would be reading what I write. That the written word, my written words in particular, will sink into obscurity, as the population loses its ability to effectively read prose. Then I thought, well, there will be some who continue to read the written word, and they will probably be the kind of people I would respect. That isn’t so bad, that what I write might be read by a literate soul, even if the majority of souls have no access to the written word, having lost the ability to atrophy.

In the now though, I enjoy writing, and that, above all else, is why I do it.



Date: 2:00 PM EST Saturday 22 December 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.5 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -1.6°C
Dew point: -5.4°C
Humidity: 75%
Wind: WNW 24 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -8
Visibility: 24 km


“He felt about books as doctors feel about medicines, or managers about plays – cynical, but hopeful.”
Dame Rose Macaulay
1881 – 1958


  1. Reading and writing *only* on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter are not satisfying. Reading and writing blogs … much more meat.
    I’m at the computer right now because I made a dish with green beans when my friend Bev had supper with us the other night, and she loved them made that way, so I wanted to send her the link to the recipe before I forget. That link is still on my clipboard so I’ll include it here, since you too are a lover of green beans.
    Just a little coincidence that you wrote about green beans just now!

  2. Kate, thank for the recipe link, it sure sounds yummy. I usually don’t care for frozen green beans much, I can tolerate canned, but there is nothing like fresh green beans! Cooking frozen beans in a pressure cooker just never occurred to me before, but I have to say, they were very good. I think you could probably get the same results from a manual pressure cooker.

  3. Sandy, it is amazing isn’t it, how moist and tender food is coming out of the Instant Pot. I have the small one too, and used it for both the beans and the Sweet and Sour Chicken tonight. I love the quick clean up, one pot.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Sandy 🙂


    Tonight, we had smothered beef tips and partially mashed potatoes. I don’t have an instant pot but my old, old black cast iron dutch oven sure cooked them to a very tender tasty treat. It did take a while but since I was home and not too busy, it worked out well. Don’t know if I would like .another kitchen appliance. Got so much already. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  5. Teri

    One of DH’s favorite recipes to make is fresh green beans sauteed with garlic and almonds. He always par cooks them in the microwave for a short time before sauteing them.

    I follow about 50 accounts about decor and product presentation on Instagram. Some of these people have more than 100,000 followers, and every one of the larger accounts not only usually discusses an IG post in a long, literate paragraph but they also have blogs they point to where they speak in more detail on various subjects. So no, blogs don’t appear to be dying, they’re just linking and drawing members from other areas, like Instagram.

  6. Ava, I love my cast iron dutch oven, particularly beef roasts, melt in your mouth good. It does take a while, but well worth the wait. I know what you mean about yet another appliance in the kitchen, and I had my doubts about the Instant Pot before I bought it, but here it has taken over most of the day-to-day cooking. I was always a big one for one dish meals, in the oven, the dutch oven, and the crock pot (still have all of those, wouldn’t part with them), so the Instant Pot fits right in. I think what tips the balance around here is the cost of hydro, and the fact that I can use the Instant Pot on the back porch in the summer and not heat up the house. Well, also, I don’t have to think about dinner until about an hour before dinner time, that is a big bonus for me.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours Ave, may the season be one of peace and joy!

  7. Teri, DH’s green bean saute sound delicious.

    There you go, glad to hear Instagaram has literate content! I don’t go near it, have ony been in once or twice, and the contributors I looked at didn’t have much to keep me coming back. I might have another look in future. I know youtube creators are always reminding people to check them out on instagram, and twitter, but I don’t. I am glad to hear your experience reveals that blogs, and the written word, are not dying out.

  8. meriset

    I think that those who are readers will always be readers. They might be a small percentage of the populace, but I suspect that’s always been the case. Sometimes I see longer posts on Facebook. (I don’t do Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest….) I’m glad the green beans could be salvaged. ….Joan

  9. Joan, your opinion is music to my ears. 🙂 I enjoy it when I can take food that is not of premium quality and transform it into something delicious to eat. I think historically people were a lot better at doing that kind of thing, lost art.

  10. Eileen Barton

    I love blogs. I enjoy Facebook and YouTube and Instagram but for a deeper meaning and connection I prefer blogs. Blogs are like sitting down with a cup of coffee or tea and having an intimate conversation with a friend.

  11. Eileen, I feel the same way about blogs, I love the element of conversatoin, and continuity.
    I enjoy Facebook to keep in touch with friends, and YouTube is just like being part of the television audiences of my childhood. I see some attempts on Facebook and Youtube to create connections, but the venue itself has so many barriers to effectively connecting with people, no matter how hard they try. Still, there are good intentions everywhere.

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