During the time we have lived here we have made some lovely Spanish friends, and find  them warm hearted and generous, always ready to share what they have, and that they rarely ask for anything in return.  So it's nice to ocassionally do them a favour, this morning sees Stan and Steve off with our neighbour and best mate to pick up a roll of plastic too large to fit in his car, a little favour that goes a small way to repay the endless supply of wine, food and company that he and his wife are always dishing out to us.
The same neighbour spotted some dried cannellini beans in my kitchen one night, and explained he had lots of habituela to pick, would I like some more?

We realise he is usually snowed under with work as he grows Habas on a small commercial scale, so volunteered to help. The offer was accepted and we were told to be ready the next day at 9am.  Next day we followed him to his land on a track near the village, and were immediately put to work gathering the dried pods , inside lurks the dried bean.

We laboured and sweated for about 4 hours filling sacks, then were instructed to shake the sack, the beans drop to the bottom, and you discard the empty papery pods at the top.

Having originally planned to help out for an hour or two we were getting really tired at this stage, it was hot relentless work, not to mention backbreaking and there seemed to be no end to it.  Finally we plucked up the courage to ask if we had done enough, the crop was pitifully small in size but we were exhausted not to mention crippled.

" Well, he said, it's not much, but I suppose if you have enough for your larder........."

The whole lot was for us, without realizing it, we were picking for ourselves, not helping him out at all, and now I have the largest stock of dried pulses in the Alpujarras.

Boston Baked Bean recipe anyone?