History is a fascinating subject, we can learn so much from the past. While some would say that history is best left where it belongs....in the past. There is one part of my past that I have always preferred to leave firmly in my past. I have never had the desire to reintroduce Broad Beans into my diet. I never believed that there was a word in the dictionary to describe these demons. Gross, disgusting, yuck, simply did not describe those floury, dry bullets that were insipid in colour and they guaranteed a very long time at the dinner table. A trip to the UK a few years back brought me face to face with my demon. After a long cold day walking around London I was relishing the thought of a warming pub dinner with all the trimmings, shock horror when my piping hot plate of comfort food was delivered to me with a generous serving of "those grey monsters". Was it my hunger or the earlier consumed wine that turned my brain to mush? I convinced myself I needed to revisit my past, and attempt to overcome 'this phobia' once and for all. First, I picked up the grey thing and squeezed it (not sure why) and a little bright green thing appeared out from its grey coat. It almost looked palatable so I popped it in my mouth fighting back the over whelming desire to swallow it whole, quietly biting down on 'it'. I didn't reach for my water or wine, I kept chewing and then swallowed and it went straight down past my tonsils without as much as a tickle, no side effect, no dry throat, no gagging. Did I have this green monster wrong for so many years? Had I spent too many years blaming my poor Mum? Time to move on and be a grown up about the whole B.B.subject. Step one: Grow my own Broad Beans. What I have learnt so far... I have discovered that broad beans are dead easy to grow, they deliver a nutrient punch to the dinner plate. They also work at being a nitrogen fixer to your soil while they are growing....and they don't have to be swallowed whole. For me, the key is to cook them briefly and then pop them out of their outer coat. The taste is amazing and the colour is bright and inviting. Broad beans do need staking and it is best to stake each individual plant for the best results or grow them along a wall where they can be easily tied back. While it is too late to sow broad beans now, I urge you to save a planting space for next autumn (Planning ahead). My Broad Bean patch is just coming ready now, which is very timely as there are still slim pickings with most of my spring veg. So if you have broad beans growing in your garden or your kindly neighbour offers you a bag, grab them with open arms and start cooking. Finally, I have discovered that history doesn't always repeat itself and I no longer have to swallow rocks. Healthy Broad Bean Dip Recipe: (that tastes as good as it looks) Bring to Boil 500 grams of Broad Beans a couple of garlic cloves a sprig of mint half cup of fresh coriander 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese (sometimes I use feta) drain the cooking water off the beans add all ingredients together Blitz the lot to a nice texture. Enjoy.