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Green Beans Like Mama’s and Laughing Until You Cry

Happy December, you guys! How was Thanksgiving for you?  I would love to hear all about what you wonderful friends of mine did for Thanksgiving! I hope it was all good and that you got to rest and enjoy people you love and eat yummy holiday food to your hearts’ content!  Maybe you could leave a comment here or write a blog post of your own about how your holiday was.  I’d love it.

In the meantime, let me tell you about mine, since you’re already here reading.  🙂 I and my three sons went to spend Thanksgiving week with my beloved sister, Sherrin.  There are certain things that are going to happen when Sherrin and I get together, especially with my sons:

1.  We are going to go shopping at places like World Market and TJMaxx, and this time, Williams-Sonoma. Yummy.

2.  We are going to go to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in Pensacola and wait for the “Hot Doughnuts” sign to begin flashing.  (has anyone noticed that the price of KKs has gone up 100% since the ’90s? Wow.) We have been known to do this as late as midnight.  You just never know when that sign is going to flash!

3. We are going to go to Pensacola Beach to put our toes in the sand; more of us than just toes if the weather is warm enough.  (It wasn’t warm enough this time.)

Sherrin and me on Pensacola Beach
Sherrin and me on Pensacola Beach

4. We are going to laugh until our cheeks hurt and tears are streaming down our faces. (the boys take great joy in getting us to laugh this hard. They laugh at us laughing until we cry!)  We usually laugh over the silliest things, like saying something the wrong way.  It’s funniest when we’re going on four hours of sleep or so.  🙂

There are other things, of course, that we’ll do, but these are the necessary experiences for us when we visit my sister in Pensacola.

One highlight for me is also to see my friend from college, David, each time I visit Pensacola.  He is an extraordinary person.  He has foster-parented several older children in need, he has been a social worker, he has gone back to school to get his RN and graduated, he writes amazing things and is working on a play or screenplay, etc.  Sherrin and Justin, my oldest son, and I were able to meet David for coffee one morning, and then another day we met with him and our mutual college friend Angela, and my college roommate Lisa and her whole family, too! I seldom get to see Lisa, so this was a huge treat.  We basically took over Starbucks and laughed and talked and had a great time together for an hour or two.   I loved it. I love these people!

Sherrin, Justin and I also went into a bakery on Nine Mile Road in Pensacola called The Cake Shop.  The cupcakes pictured here were white chocolate; they had many other flavors, such as Hummingbird, Red Velvet, Apple Spice, Carrot, etc.  They were very good!  Then another day we tried out another bake shop closer to downtown, and they had quite a few more flavors, but the cupcakes were all over-baked and dry, and they were much more expensive.  I’d go back to the one on Nine Mile any day. Loved it!  Try them out if  you’re in the area!

Now, let me share our “recipe” for mama’s green beans. It’s very simple.  You’re really just throwing a few ingredients together.

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Mama’s Green Beans with New Potatoes

1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh green beans

1/2 to 1 pound small red potatoes

about 3/4 cup salt pork, diced

One medium onion, chopped

1 TBS olive or canola oil, as needed

Seasonings: Tony Cacheres Original, or Cavender’s Greek seasoning, or simply salt and pepper.

Wash potatoes and green beans well.  Snap the ends off beans and remove any strings as needed. (mine didn’t require it this time. This variety didn’t have strings.) We also snapped the beans in half, but that’s up to personal preference.  It’s fine to leave them whole.

Place diced salt pork in a dutch oven or other large pot. Render the fat for a minute or two, but do not let the meat get crispy.  Add chopped onion, and if not much fat has rendered to cook the onion in, add a tablespoon of olive or canola oil. Cook gently until onion is transparent.

Add a quart of water, and let the meat and onions gently simmer in that for ten minutes or so. Sprinkle in a teaspoon of seasoning, or of salt.  (don’t add both, as those seasoning mixes I mentioned already contain a good deal of salt.)

After ten minutes, add the new potatoes.  (We leave them whole so they don’t disintegrate.)  Cook for 15 minutes, adding more water or chicken broth as needed.

Next, add your beans to the water. If they aren’t covered by the broth, add more broth or water to just cover.

Simmer beans and potatoes for as long as needed to achieve the amount of doneness you prefer. Some like a very crisp bean. I have to admit I like mine softer.  I just keep simmering and testing until I get them perfect for us!

I bet many of you do something very similar to this when making your beans and potatoes, don’t you?

That’s it for today; tomorrow I’ll post about all the handmade things we did and saw over our Thanksgiving week! If you like crochet work, or pottery, or food, for that matter, check in with me tomorrow!

See you then!  🙂

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7 thoughts on “Green Beans Like Mama’s and Laughing Until You Cry

  1. Your Thanksgiving Holiday sounds fabulous, MamaStephf! Such happy faces, such marvelous food! And your description and photo of Green Beans Like Mama’s quite literally transported me back in time and brought tears to my eyes. As a matter of fact, I’ll be cooking those ASAP! Strange that I never thought about cooking them for Thanksgiving. Many’s the time I’ve made a meal of them in the late spring and summer accompanied by yellow squash and vine-ripened tomatoes! Very often cornbread as well. My mouth is watering! Thanks, dear friend!
    If you can find a spare moment, I’d love to have you stop by the LBC discussion board and tell us about your Christmas menu plans!

    1. You have a discussion board? How did I not know this?? I missed that info, but will go find it! 🙂

      I hope you do enjoy some good ol’ green beans and taters, as mama would jokingly call them. They are really simple and delicious. To have them for Thanksgiving was Sherrin’s idea. I’m kind of over the mushroom soup green beans, so I was happy to make them for her!

  2. I have been craving this for days. I make mine about the same as your except I sometimes use ham. I like side pork if I can find it and then I do add broth with it. Otherwise I make it like you do. Even plain bacon works well. Simple , cheap , easy and oh so comforting.

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