The Bean: Great variety in one vegetable

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The Bean

By Sharon
January 16, 2014

If you could grow only one vegetable, one that would provide the most nutrition for you and your family, what would it be?

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Name: Carl Boro
Milpitas, CA (Zone 10b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Jan 10, 2015 1:55 PM CST
Sharon, I missed this one. Must have been before I joined.

What I like about beans is that it's 5 or 6 vegetables in one.

What does that mean?

Think about beans:

You can eat them raw (usually right out in the garden). Very paleo.

You can lightly steam them and eat them al dente. Very trendy.

You can cook them until they are soft and still bright green. Very common.

You can open a can and heat them. Very sad.

You can throw them in a pot with some kind of smoked pork product (of your choice) and cook them until they are soft and a little gray green. Very country.

Or you can cook the dried beans for some really good eatin'.

My old hillbilly boss (by his own admission) told me that as a kid, they would string the pods of ripe beans and hang and dry them and then in the winter they would cook them. He said they were good, his wife said otherwise.

The amazing thing about beans is that no matter how you cook them they are delicious. Completely different tastes, but delicious.

Yeah, you say, but what if you burn them? Blackened beans. I've made them. Stir fried with the right sauce and spices they are delicious (big surprise).

How many other vegetables can you overcook and still have something good to eat? OK, corn, but it's taste doesn't change that much.

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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Jan 10, 2015 2:25 PM CST
Exactly, Carl. True down to the last bean, all true.

And by the way, those beans strung on a string and hung in the rafters of the attic to dry, they are called shucky beans. I love them but I never grow enough to have any left over at the end of the season for stringing. I do have an attic though, so I've thought about it. They just have to dry in an area where very little moisture can get near them. Love shucky beans!!

On the other hand, I love beans in any form, just as you described.
Bacon grease is about as close to pork as I can get, so I fry the bacon and serve it to others, then save the grease for various bean dishes.

Great and savory memories came dancing through my mind when I read your words. Thank you!
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