The mystery beans


I walk with mace in one hand, and my keys positioned like a weapon in the other. It’s habit. I have my speed dial set to 911. So, when I turned down a quiet, back road the other day, questioning my decision as I high tailed it, arms pumping, an older woman pulled out of her driveway. Headed straight for her, if I were her, I would have been frightened and simply pulled away. Instead, she rolled down the window and said, “Well, hi! You must be a new neighbor I haven’t met yet. My name’s Sally. Where do you live?” As she drove away she hollered out the window, “Feel free to drop by any time.” I walked away smiling, and thinking, where am I?

Welcome to the south.

Three days ago, I came home from my walk and a bag full of beans were sitting on top of my car. I looked around. No note. No neighbor near by. I had no idea who or where they came from. Stuffed in a plastic Harvey’s super market bag, and caked with dried dirt, they looked like they’d arrived straight from the garden.

What kind of peas are these? Does anyone know?

They weren’t by the front door, or on the step, they sat brazenly on the roof of my car. Considering we’ve been here barely two months, I feel I’ve gotten out of the house a great deal between the writing and unpacking. We’ve met folks at the community garden, I’ve joined the local Writer’s workshop, volunteered to help on a local city council campaign, and been invited to join the library book club. I’m just learning names and no one knows where I live, but my landlord. I have made a few friends at the community garden, but the fall gardening season is only just now starting. Everyone in the plots around me are planting, no one is harvesting yet. And, no one knows where I live. I’m not friends with anyone growing beans in their plot.

I checked my email, checked my phone. Nothing. No one has said to me in passing, “Did you get my beans?” It’s been three days!

Matt asked, “Are you sure you want to eat those?” Hell, yeah, I want to eat them. I shelled those suckers and filled three freezer bags full. We’ll have beans for a month. But in the back of my mind, I wonder, did they mean to put them on another neighbor’s car? Do I have a car that looks like someone else’s?

2nd batch, there were three total!

Impossible. Someone knows my car and knows I like to garden.

Welcome to the south where neighbors are friendly and hospitality is amazingly generous. Eventually, I’ll figure out who shared their harvest with me, and return the favor when we harvest. Maybe I’ll put it on the roof of their car and let them have their own mystery to solve! Yeah, that’d be a hoot, now wouldn’t it?

A HUGE thank you, whoever you are! (Wow, I feel like I’m writing to Batman or Spider Man.)

It's what's for dinner.

P.S. We HAVE NOT forgotten about the contest drawing. We got so sidetracked with editing and discussing the Norfolk Writer’s Conference Michelle just attended, we completely forgot during our Skype session. We will accomplish it next week. It’s number one on our list of things to discuss and do! Don’t forget to let us know if you’re following us on Twitter or on any of our other blogs! That’s the rule to get in the drawing. You have to tell us!!

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About Jennifer

Environmentalist. Writer. Navy wife. Mama. Gardener. Crock-pot fanatic.
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5 Responses to The mystery beans

  1. pat says:

    hello…The beans look like field peas and they are delicious! When I moved to Alabama I learned that is the bean of choice!! I ask if anyone eats green beans and they looked at me as if I had two heads. Then I ask if they ate great northern beans and they laughed! Well I set to introducing my new southern friends Kentucky cuisine!! And in turn love to cook theirs. I must confess I prefer field peas! By the way…you cook them anyway you want!! I use chicken stock or bullion to avoid the famous bacon fat we Kentuckians are so fond of! Other than that a little onion is good.

    • Oh, that sounds good! We tried them with just olive oil and a little water and they were yummy. I’ll try them with the chicken stock and onion next. I have enough of them to try all kinds of ways. Can you believe it? And still—no one’s claimed it was them!

  2. Donna says:

    Those are crowder peas (maybe they are called field peas also) …..they are D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S…Welcome to the south……they are so easy to grow….I grew them in my garden too (Kentucky) and have about 5 pt. bags in my freezer. They are so good…that’s how I fix mine…a couple of table spoons of olive oil, some salt…..seems like they are even better the next day.

  3. Jackie says:

    Donna made some for us when she came up to Michigan. My Granddaughter Jordyn loved them. I grew them in Kentucky and also set some out least year here in Michigan.. But they never tasted as great as when Donna cooked them. I’d sold them at the Farmers Market when I had the Farm in Kentucky. I must confess I’d only used them before to add to veggie soup, never tried them alone, but now I will.

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