Watching her mom as a kid, Vicki came by cooking easily. Kids Cook Monday offers simple recipes kids can help with.
Do You Love Homegrown Canned Green Beans?
I have loved homegrown canned green beans since I was a kid. My mom had a huge garden that we four kids would help water and harvest. When it came to green beans, we would help pick and snap the many bowls of green beans that were produced. I never liked that chore much, but I sure did like the results. We would eat green beans all summer, and Mom would can the rest in her pressure cooker. Green beans were thus plentiful all winter long. I don't think we ever ran out.
What a wonderful thing to be able to go into the pantry and grab a jar of homegrown green beans all winter long. To this day, my mom still grows and cans green beans. I sure look forward to having them when I visit. And lucky me, Mom often sends me a few jars of her bounty back home when I go to visit. Thanks, Mom!
Unfortunately, I have never grown enough green beans to can, as my mom did. Still, I have always cooked them, whether from fresh, frozen, or canned options. A few years ago, I came up with a method of cooking store-bought green beans that made them taste closer to my mom's homegrown canned green beans.
My method involves mixing store-bought canned green beans with the frozen ones. Once, when I was observed cooking my green bean this way, I was actually asked if there were a "method to my madness." "Yes," I replied, "there is."
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
Serves 7-8 people (1/2 cup servings)
- 1 can green beans
- 8 oz (or half package) green beans, frozen
- 2 pieces bacon
- 2-3 Tbs. butter
- Cavendar's seasoning, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
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- Fry bacon on stove until partially cooked.
- Add frozen green beans. Then add can of green beans, including liquid.
- Bring mixture to boil and boil 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid, and let simmer ten minutes. Check and continue to check every five minutes. Add water if needed, but at least stir occasionally.
- Add cut-up tablespoons of butter. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and Cavendar's, if you like that all-purpose spice.
- A taste test is the best way to tell if the green beans are finished. When the frozen ones have softened, changed color, and are starting to taste like the canned green beans, then the dish is about ready.
Mixing Frozen and Canned Green Beans
Frozen green beans retain much of their nutritional value, often more so than do the fresh version. Mixing them with a can of green beans complete with liquid gives them the necessary water in which they need to cook. Cooking the frozen ones along with the flavorful juice and beans of the canned version is a way I began to experiment.
The liquid from the canned green beans, along with a few spices, blends for a great flavor! As the green beans cook and the frozen ones soften, the different colors of the green beans start to slowly become similar in color.
Keep cooking the green beans until the water is practically gone and the beans are almost frying. Stir them around as the water is disappearing near the end of cooking.
I don't know if this method of cooking takes out some of the nutritional value, but I do know that it adds in the flavor. I've experimented with different spices, too but found that a few simple spices work well along with the butter and bacon. I mean, seriously, how can you go wrong with butter and bacon when it comes to flavor?
Over time, I have tweaked this mixture and experimented with the seasonings and am very happy with the results. My spruced-up store-bought green beans simulate my memories of home canned green beans that were picked fresh from the garden!