Oh, dear readers! David Byrne blogs too! Now I can stop feeling sheepish, because blogging must not be as questionable as I thought. In his blog, he mentions a recent rollercoaster ride he was talked into, and there’s a picture of him ducking as the rollercoaster swoops around a loop. David Byrne doesn’t like rollercoasters (see title). Guess what? I don’t like rollercoasters either! David Byrne also riffs relentlessly on reality and rationality and refers to himself as “Mr. So-Called Anthropologist from Mars.” I am an anthropologist! David Byrne, I am you.

In other late-summer news, tonight I’ve laid waste to more Romano beans, which are my new favorite farmers’ market item. Summer makes everything taste good, except those lovely winter things like cabbages and stews.

I’m also in a heirloom tomato-bread salad rut, and it’s delicious. My father would have loved joining me in this rut. He was the official tomato grower in our household, annually starting, fertilizing, and bringing to fruition dozens and dozens of them. In the summer of 2002, his last summer, the harvest was especially impressive, almost overwhelming. I’d slow-roast pan after pan of tomatoes, halved and salted and brushed with olive oil. That fall, when he was sick and bed-ridden, he told me dazedly of a dream he’d had in which we’d grown 10,000 beautiful tomatoes in the backyard. Ten thousand, he said. I loved being able to tell him that it wasn’t a dream; he’d actually done it.

Romano beans with garlicky breadcrumbs
[Inspired by a dinner at Kirkland’s Café Juanita, fall 2003]

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and toss in a handful of Romano green beans (sometimes known as Italian green beans), cooking until just tender. Drain, and rinse with cold water. Heat a glug of olive oil in a medium skillet, and gently sauté one large clove of garlic, minced. Add Romano beans, a tablespoon or two of breadcrumbs (I used some very finely ground whole wheat breadcrumbs I found in the freezer), and a bit of salt. Shake skillet, tossing beans to coat with oil, garlic, and breadcrumbs. Heat until everything is warmed through and breadcrumbs have absorbed a bit of oil and are crispy, just a few minutes. Plate. Eat.
Serves one.