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American spring is here

Fava beans taste of damp, eager, brilliant green spring

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Occupy is a popular theme on many a street corner and park bench.

I've been trying to churn up interest in this idea in my own home, without success.

Fifty percent of our local census, 100 percent of those younger than working age, remain resistant. They do what they need to do: go to school. They do what they are cajoled to do: homework, practice, dishes. Faced with the unscheduled minute, they are stumped.

They're keen on preoccupation — staring at the computer screen or phone screen or movie screen. But engage in spontaneous, bottom-up, leaderless movement? Clueless.

I'm starting a movement called "Occupy Yourself!" It insists that the 99 percent of children unable to amuse themselves figure out how to do so, pronto. Without TV, text or Twitter. No coach, no carpool, no assistant, no accompanist.

For those who can't figure out how to operate a book, pencil or garden trowel, I will provide remedial training by way of fava beans.

Fava beans taste of damp, eager, green spring, season of uprisings. They need to be shelled. Twice. First the thick outer pod, then the pale inner skin. It's a task that takes — minimally — two colanders, two hands and two hours. Which should incentivise the protesters to find something — anything — to do. Solo.

Fava bean crostini

Prep: 1 ½ hours
Cook: 15 minutes
Makes: 12 crostini

1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
12 very thin slices French bread
2 pounds fava beans in the pod
Coarse salt
3 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
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