Sig hej til de tre søstre

I denne uge finder du majs, borlotti-bønner og rondini-squash i fredagsposen. Nordamerikanske indianere kaldte de tre afgrøder – vintersquash, bønner og majs – for “de tre søstre”. De blev altid plantet sammen – og det er der rigtig god mening i. De tre afgrøder har nemlig det til fælles, at de kan tørres og opbevares langt ind i vinteren.

Samtidig er der også gode dyrkningsmæssige grunde til at plante dem sammen: De høje masplanter er et naturligt fæstepunkt for de lange bønneranker, som så samtidig stabiliserer majsen, så den ikke vælter i vinden. Squashplanterne dækker jorden, og holder på fugten samtidig med at ukrudt holdes nede. Og endelig binder bønnerne kvælstof i jorden, så gødningen og næste års afgrøder er sikret.

Og hvordan bruger man så de tre søstre? Majsen er et studie i sødme:

  • kog majskolbe 8-10 minutter, spis den så på den traditionelle måde – med koldt smør eller med kryddersmør.
  • smid den hele majskolbe på grillen, og lad den blive sort og brændt – gentag processen med smør
  • stil den rå kolbe lodret (helst i en skål, ellers bliver det noget rod) og skrab kernerne af – så kan de bruges i gryderetter eller i den gode, greasy amerikanerklassiker, “creamed corn”: sauter løg og majskerner i baconfedt – ja, det skal være baconfedt – tilsæt piskefløde, så det næsten dækker majskolberne og kog til det er cremet. Mas majsen lidt ud med en grydeske og server …

Borlottibønnen – de har endnu ikke alle fået det karakteristiske rødbrune mønster – skal bælges, og den friske bønne koges 10-15 minutter. Du må gerne komme den direkte i en gryderet. De danskdyrkede bønner har en ganske anderledes og fyldig smag end de langtidslagrede, tørrede, man finder i poserne i supermarkedet.

Brug dem til verdens bedste bønneragout: bønner i en bred gryde, hele tomater squishes ned mellem bønnerne, hele fed hvidløg og salvieblade ligeså. Dæk bønnerne næsten med vand, og fyld efter med et tykt lag olivenolie. Kog det op, skru ned for vamen og lad det simre, til bønnerne er møre, tomaterne kogt ud og det hele en mumset masse, der bare lige skal smages til med salt og peber, før den råber på et stykke godt brød og en flaske tung vin.

Eller brug dem i en klassisk pasta e fagioli – eller pasta fasul, som min mafiaonkel fra New Jersey siger: start med at lave en sofritto af finthakket gulerod, løg, bladselleri, persille, porretop og hvidløg, som du sveder over sagte ild i olivenolie – ikke noget med at brune – det hele skal fylde en liter, når du putter det i og under det halve, når du er færdig med at svede.

Tilsæt så bønnerne og giv dem en omgang i sofrittoen, så de tager lidt smag. Suppler med tomater – så mange du nu kan undvære, og det gør ikke noget, de er rynkede og bløde, snarere tværtimod – og en god boullion.

Du kan også bruge vand – hvis du kommer en endeskive bacon eller en parmesanskorpe i gryden samtidig med bønnerne, kommer der næsten boullion af sig selv. De giver umami og skal fiskes op før du serverer – eventuelle veganere kan bruge tørrede svampe, som dog ikke behøver blive fisket op.

Tilsæt så cirka lige så meget pasta som bønner – brug makaronier eller andre “små” pastatyper, der er egnet til suppe. Har du pastarester i skuffen, så blæs på konventionerne, knæk dem i småstykker, kom dem i gryden og få ryddet op samtidig. Lad det koge til pastaen er al dente. Det er en god ide at røre rundt – pastaen har en tilbøjelighed til at sætte sig på bunden af gryden. Smag til, server med godt brød og pamesan.

Husk: det er en (tyk) suppe, ikke en pasta med “sovs”, så tilsæt boullion eller vand under tilberedningen til passende konsistens. Og et lille tip: dryp krydderolie over – snur chili, hvidløg og rosmarin i olivenolie over svag varme, så olien bliver godt krydret.

Rondini-græskarret er en lille benhård fætter, der kan være lidt svær at få hul på – men det er umagen værd. Den helt klassiske tilberedning er gratinering: del græskarret på midten, fjern kernerne og forkog det udhulede græskar i 8-10 minutter.

Fyld derefter fyld efter behag i “hullet”. Du kan nøjes med smør, eller du kan bruge et kryddersmør – salvie og græskar klæder for eksempel hinanden utrolig godt – du kan bruge blåskimmelost eller du kan slå et æg ud i græskarret. Stil det i ovnen i 10.-15 minutter ved 200-225 grader, skal det være festligt, så server et græskar pr. person og læg “låget” med stilk på, så man åbner sin lille græskar-skål og spiser med ske.

Og så lige, for dem der orker, haudenosaunee-folkets historie om de tre søstre (på engelsk, mit irokesiske er lidt rustent:

Once upon a time very long ago, there were three sisters who lived together in a field. These sisters were quite different from one another in their size and also in their way of dressing. One of the three was a little sister, so young that she could only crawl at first, and she was dressed in green. The second of the three wore a frock of bright yellow, and she had a way of running off by herself when the sun shone and the soft wind blew in her face. The third was the eldest sister, standing always very straight and tall above the other sisters and trying to guard them. She wore a pale green shawl, and she had long, yellow hair that tossed about her head in the breezes.

There was only one way in which the three sisters were alike. They loved one another very dearly, and they were never separated. They were sure that they would not be able to live apart.

After awhile a stranger came to the field of the three sisters, a little Indian boy. He was as straight as an arrow and as fearless as the eagle that circled the sky above his head. He knew the way of talking to the birds and the small brothers of the earth, the shrew, the chipmunk, and the young foxes. And the three sisters, the one who was just able to crawl, the one in the yellow frock, and the one with the flowing hair, were very much interested in the little Indian boy. They watched him fit his arrow in his bow, saw him carve a bowl with his stone knife, and wondered where he went at night.

Late in the summer of the first coming of the Indian boy to their field, one of the three sisters disappeared. This was the youngest sister in green, the sister who could only creep. She was scarcely able to stand alone in the field unless she had a stick to which she clung. Her sisters mourned for her until the fall, but she did not return.

Once more the Indian boy came to the field of the three sisters. He came to gather reeds at the edge of a stream nearby to make arrow shafts. The two sisters who were left watched him and gazed with wonder at the prints of his moccasins in the earth that marked his trail.

That night the second of the sisters left, the one who was dressed in yellow and who always wanted to run away. She left no mark of her going, but it may have been that she set her feet in the moccasin tracks of the little Indian boy.

Now there was but one of the sisters left. Tall and straight she stood in the field not once bowing her head with sorrow, but it seemed to her that she could not live there alone. The days grew shorter and the nights were colder. Her green shawl faded and grew thin and old. Her hair, once long and golden, was tangled by the wind. Day and night she sighed for her sisters to return to her, but they did not hear her. Her voice when she tried to call to them was low and plaintive like the wind.

But one day when it was the season of the harvest, the little Indian boy heard the crying of the third sister who had been left to mourn there in the field. He felt sorry for her, and he took her in his arms and carried her to the lodge of his father and mother. Oh what a surprise awaited here there! Her two lost sisters were there in the lodge of the little Indian boy, safe and very glad to see her. They had been curious about the Indian boy, and they had gone home with him to see how and where he lived. They had liked his warm cave so well that they had decided now that winter was coming on to stay with him. And they were doing all they could to be useful.

The little sister in green, now quite grown up, was helping to keep the dinner pot full. The sister in yellow sat on the shelf drying herself, for she planned to fill the dinner pot later. The third sister joined them, ready to grind meal for the Indian boy. And the three were never separated again.

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