This is my idea of down-home Southern meal. Andy had to work Saturday so I had a good dinner for him to come home to. (Dessert too!). We had baked chicken, grits and spinach and fresh green beans from the garden! The only thing missing were a few deviled eggs.
It was so pretty outside when I got up with a nice breeze blowing. I grabbed my coffee and went out to the garden and picked some beans. I'd estimate that I had around 4 to 5 pounds of beans. This is how I prepare and season my green beans. First you snap the end off and break them in half, some in thirds. We buy a stringless variety of seed, but every once in a while you will need to pull a string. Wash and rinse the beans.
Put the beans in a big pot with enough space (3" or so over the top of the beans/meat). I'd rather use a too big pot than one where you don't have ample "boiling space." Drop a ham bone or any type of seasoning meat like bacon. I had this saved and frozen from a ham we served a few months ago. Cover with water. With this amount of beans and in this sized pot, I add 4 teaspoons of salt. You can add more, but I think it could make them too salty. I always taste a bean after they've been cooking for an hour and see if they need additional seasoning.
Bring the beans to a nice, slow boil and cook for approximately two hours. The meat will be pulling away from the bone, the beans should be tender, yet firm. Keep an eye on them! I have had the water cook down so much I had to add a little extra.