Mammaw’s Good Green Beans

We’ve been canning strawberry jam…

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…and making Black and White Cookies.

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I figured you probably didn’t want to know about any of those, but you were nearly dying to know how to make the best green beans you’ll ever eat.

You’re in luck, ‘cuz I’m about to teach you just that.

If at either age 80 (Mammaw) or 84 (Pappaw) I look half as cute as they do (provided I even make it that long!), I’ll be satisfied.

My Mammaw is one of the best cooks around and the brains behind my second-rate little cooking operation, having trained my Mom.

As a kid, I’d spend the summers at their house in Mississippi. They’ve got about 12 acres or so, and we’d (my cousins, sister, and I) swim, ride go-carts, swim, cut grass, swim, and generally make pests of ourselves until Mammaw gave us a bucket and told us not to come back until it was full of blackberries.  If she wasn’t around, we’d pester Pappaw until he gave us a pocket knife (good idea!) and tell us to go dig potatoes out of the garden.  We canned, shucked, shelled, and froze food till our fingers were sore and purple (shelling bushels of purple-hull peas will do that to a person).

Then we painted fingernail polish over the chiggers we got around our ankles while picking blackberries.

I didn’t know then what I know now: Mammaw’s dirty little secret for green beans.  Her green beans always tasted like she’d just picked them from the garden and had slaved over them all day. I figured she put them up in the freezer by the Ziploc-bag full. So, one day, we (Mom and I) watched her make them.

Wouldn’t you know it! My grandmother, the saint, poured those suckers out of a can she bought at the WalMart Supercenter, doctored ‘em up, and put ‘em on the table.  I would never have known if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.  Much like Lucky Charms, they tasted magically delicious.  I went home and did what I saw her do and , guess what?  Mine tasted just as good-ish.

Now, I’m passing Mammaw’s dirty little secret on to you.

Here’s what you need:

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a saucepan
canned green beans (I like the Allen’s flat beans because they are more rustic. However, you can use the regular cut ones if you like. Get however many cans your chicks can put down.  Two usually does it for my nest.)
cooking oil (about 1 tsp. per can of green beans)
beef boullion (one cube/equivalent per can of green beans)

Now, here’s Mammaw’s dirty little secret #1:

Drain the juice off the green beans after you open the can. Mammaw says that’s where the preservatives are and that’s what makes them taste canned.

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Now, put the beans, sans juice, into the pot. Pour the oil over them and add the boullion. (The boullion is Mammaw’s dirty little secret #2.  Apparently, boullion or stock makes anything taste like it’s been cooked all day. It works on anything canned, just about.  Beans, especially.) Like this:

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Oh, and if you’re counting your calories, spray the beans with spray butter instead of adding the oil. That way, you can eat as many as you want, get the same taste, and they have absolutely no calories whatsoever!

Cover them with water and put them onto boil. Boil them for as long as you like (mine go for about 45-60 minutes).  Just watch them.  If the water gets low, add some more.

When they are done, they’ll look like this:

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No, that’s not them on the right.  They’re on the left, for Pete’s sake.

Heck, make 10 cans. Put ‘em in the fridge and eat ‘em for a snack.  They’re as good as a Snickers.

Almost.

Printable recipe card: click, print, cut and go.

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