Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Winged beans; or, the camera hates me

For days now I've been trying to get a picture of Chuck Norris when he comes out to hunt at night. Usually it's when we've got the lights turned down low for optimum watching of old Xena DVDs. But the little guy moves so damn fast that I am beginning to recognize I will never be able to catch him. And if I did, I don't know how to turn off the flash on the camera, so the only kind of pictures I can take of small objects at close range have all the depth washed out of them by the flash.

It's not a bad camera; I can take awesome pictures of people and things at a reasonable distance, by daylight. See?


See? But when you want to get a picture of a fast-moving gecko in low light, or of the winged beans we had for dinner last night, well, there is no joy in Mudville. Sigh.

The winged bean is basically what the name suggests: it's kind of like a green bean, but with four ruffled flanges or "wings" running the length of the pod. Here's a public-domain picture (by Wikipedia user Hans B.):

If you slice them across the axis, the cross-section looks like an X, with a tiny bean at the center. I've seen these on sale in China and here, but never bothered to try them. I was at the farmer's market on Saturday and bought some really awesome smoked marlin for making fried rice. The little old auntie who was selling the marlin talked me into the winged beans too. She recommended garlic, ginger, and oyster sauce, but as Rex and I do not do the shellfish thing, we looked for another recipe, and Rex did them up PNG-style with crushed peanuts, onions, and hot pepper flakes. What I didn't know was that it was more of a nostalgia trip for him than for me, since winged beans are indigenous to PNG and a staple of highland garden-plot agriculture. Good thing I didn't suggest having sweet potatoes too.


atlanticmo said...

My video camera has a night-vision feature. Do you own a video camera?

atlanticmo said...

Do you have a video camera?
Most of them have a nightvision feature.

SEB said...

No video camera, sadly. But you know, for all I know, the camera we do have has a night-vision feature. Himself got it in Australia and I don't even know whether he brought the manual home, but if he did it's long lost now. I'll see if I can find one online.