Fava beans are one of those vegetables that I have to order anytime I see them on a menu. Yes, I love their delicate flavor, but the main reason is that I know how much prep work is required. What vegetable has to be peeled…twice? Once to remove their outer shell, as you would do with an English pea. And then once again to remove them from their inner shell. The good news here is that the kids were willing to do all of the work. The bad news? They hated them. One of our worst failures to date.

ME: Ok guys, this one is called…

SAM: Fava beans

ME: Fava beans.  Ok.  Now, you cannot eat them like this (in the shell).  Why?

SAM: Because it’s still the shell.

ME: Yes, these have to be shelled twice.  Isn’t that interesting?  So you shell them — Emma don’t eat them like that because you’re about to eat it with the shell on.  That needs to be shelled so you need to take off the skin.  See, Lauren’s doing it the right way.  You want to pull it out of its shell.  Who wants to pull it out of its shell?  Sam’s working really hard on his fava bean. 

EMMA: Yucky.

SAM: She said yucky.

ME: Yeah.  If you’ve got a little piece of bean, you put it into this shelled bowl.  Don’t put the wrappers in the bowl, because we want to be able to eat these later.  Ok.  Who wants to smell the fava beans? 

SAM: I’m working really hard!

ME: You just got it out.  Good job, high five.

SAM: But I broke it.

ME: Yeah.  That’s all right.

ME: Ok.  So, who wants to try their fava bean first?

EMMA: I don’t want to try it Mommy.

ME: You what?  You don’t want to?  Well, let’s smell it first.  Smell it.  What does it smell like?

LAUREN: Ooops. 

SAM: [burps]

ME: Oh Sam, what do you say if you burp?

KIDS: [laughing]

SAM: Thank you.

ME: No, you don’t say thank you.

KIDS: [laughing]

ME: What do you say?

SAM: You’re welcome.

KIDS: [laughing]

ME: You don’t say you’re welcome either.  What do you say?

SAM: Ahhhhh…ummmm… My butt itches.

LAUREN/SAM:  [laughing hysterically]

ME: Ok.  That is so crude I don’t even know what to say.

LAUREN/SAM: [laughing hysterically]

ME: Ok, stop.  All right.  Sooooooo, who wants to try this bean?

ME: You want to try half?  You want to try one-half and I’ll try the other half?

SAM: That was so funny, right?

ME: There Emma is trying hers.  I’m gonna try mine.  All right, Emma did not like that.  Why didn’t you like your bean, what was bad about it?

EMMA: Yucky.

ME: Huh?

EMMA: Yuk.

ME: Because these take a lot of work so I’m really curious why you don’t like them after we’ve put all that work into shelling them.  Sam, have you tried it yet?

SAM: Nope, sorry. 

EMMA: Heeeheee.

ME: Don’t throw the beans please.

KIDS: [laughing]

ME: So guys, a farmer spent a lot of time making sure that the earth was ready to grow the beans, and he or she checked on the beans and made sure there was enough sunshine, enough water, and the beans grew and grew, and then they were transported all the way in a truck to the Union Square Farmer’s Market where we bought them.  Ok?  And, then you threw them.  What do you think about that?  Is that nice or not nice?

LAUREN: I did not.

SAM: I didn’t.

EMMA: I didn’t.

ME: Ok.  Well, Emma threw it.  Is that nice or not nice?  Sam!  Hold on.  Everyone come back, we’re not done!

KIDS: [in other room]

ME: Sam?  Just tell me what’s wrong with it!

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