Thursday, August 29, 2013

I Frenched My Beans

One of my favorite homegrown veggies is green beans.  Beans and I go way back.  When I was a young(er) girl, my mom once sent me out to "pull the beans."  I didn't care to spend much time in the garden back then, because there were scary things out there.  You spiders and such. Big black and yellow ones with fat bodies.  *shudder*

Black and yellow garden spider
(Argiope aurantia)
I've gotten over my morbid fear of spiders and although I can't really say I love them, I've come to appreciate them.  Yes, that's it.  I appreciate them.  But I also have a healthy respect for them and I still detest walking into one of their webs.  But back to the beans...

Reluctantly, I went out to pull the beans and though I felt rather proud and relieved that I managed to get all of them without being attacked by spiders, my mother was a little less than pleased.  You see, I pulled them all right.  I pulled the plants right out.  She'd meant for me to pull the beans off the plants.  Oh well.  I never had to pick another bean that entire summer.

This year, after a hiatus of a few years, I grew our favorite green bean - 'Jade'.  I grew other beans in the meantime, but 'Jade' really is superior in flavor, in my opinion, and though the seeds aren't available for me locally, I found them at Fedco and ordered them early.

'Jade' is a long bean and skinny too.  Unless you are traveling a lot and forget to pick them in between trips. Then they get even longer and they aren't skinny anymore. Perfect for frenching.

Last Christmas, daughter Kara gave me a French bean slicer.  And I put it to good use this past week, on those fat 'Jade' beans.There are several bean slicing tools on the market, but this one by Krisk is inexpensive and very easy to use.  It will simultaneously de-string and slice the beans, though if picked early enough, de-stringing isn't necessary with 'Jade'.

 The blades are very sharp which allows you to push the beans through and there's a guard that protects your fingers.  Once you've pushed the bean through a little bit, you can grab it on the bottom and pull it the rest of the way through. It's got a super sharp blade for cutting the ends off the beans, too.

To also de-string these, the bean should have been rotated 90° so that the string sides would be
sliced away.

You do need to use fresh beans though.  You know how beans can get a bit soft and rubbery after a few days in the refrigerator?  That would make it more difficult to execute the initial push into the cutter.

So while we're talking about beans, let me ask this. Which do you like better - cut beans or French-style?  We're divided in this household, with my husband preferring cut. I think French-style beans taste better.

It's probably a texture thing, like how I prefer eating cheese thinly-sliced over eating a chunk of it.

The potato is from our garden, too!


Amy Junod said...

Green beans are my favorite too.
I'm excited to try the slicer- nice to know it works so well.

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