Thursday, July 28, 2016

Green Beans and New Potatoes

This time of year is the perfect time to cook up a big pot of fresh green beans. You don't want to can all of them and then wait to enjoy the bounty from your garden! The other day I had just finished packing the last 13 quarts of beans for the year. I could have filled several more jars but I thought, "What's the point in not cooking some for Momma's Supper Night?" An elderly neighbor up the road who likes to drop in to sit in the shade and visit with Andy had just dropped off a bag with goodies from his garden. Inside I found some new red potatoes and I knew what would be on the menu. I cooked a roast in the crock pot and served green beans with new potatoes, fresh squash and sliced tomatoes out of the garden. Talk about a feast! Needless to say, we all enjoyed it tremendously and sent Momma home with enough for lunch the next day.

I followed the normal steps I take when fixing fresh picked green beans. First you snap the end off and break them in half, some in thirds. As you are breaking them, check to make sure you don't have 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). I'd rather use a too big pot than one where you don't have ample "boiling space." 

Since I didn't have a big ham bone to cook with them like I normally fix fresh green beans, I dug in the bottom drawer of my refrigerator and pulled out my trusty old jar of bacon grease. Drop a very healthy spoonful (and I'm not talking about a teaspoon!) into the beans. Cover with water. To start with, 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 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.

Add the washed and chopped up potatoes to the pot. We leave the skins on! If needed, add additional water. Let these cook another 30-40 minutes or so on medium heat. The edges of the potatoes should look smooth and some of the skins should start peeling back when the potatoes are cooked through.

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