Here in Korea, until lately, we didn’t couldn’t find green beans in the store, so we just did without. However, green beans cooked like I cooked them today is the favorite vegetable of many Americans. My mother, my grandmother, my mother in law, etc. have all cooked green beans the way I cooked them today. My Korean son in law didn’t even know what the green beans were when I bought them. It is about time we get to eat them again and my Korean son in law learn what they are.
To make these kinds of beans, it starts with bacon. I don’t cook bacon often even though it tastes great because my dad warned me a long time ago not to eat a lot of things like bacon so I wouldn’t clog my arteries and have heart problems like so many others in my family, and I have tried to listen. However, occasionally, I go ahead and cook bacon because what is life if you don’t enjoy it? When my mother, grandmother, and mother in law were cooking, they made bacon and kept a container on the stove of bacon grease. When they made green beans, they didn’t have to start by frying bacon because they saved it along to use as a flavoring in their cooking. However, I don’t have that habit because I don’t cook bacon often enough to be saving bacon grease. I had to begin by frying bacon so I could have bacon grease.
Next, my mother used to be able to just open up a can of green beans, dump them in a sauce pan, boil them, then add the bacon grease, salt, and pepper to them. If she raised a garden like she did sometimes and my mother in law did, she had to snap those green beans and cook them longer than if she bought canned green beans. I bought frozen green beans because that is all that was available to me. That means that I had to cook and cook, and cook those beans. I had to boil, and boil, and boil. The beans need to be really soft. That is why it is easiest to start with canned green beans. I boiled and boiled and boiled my frozen green beans this evening until they were wilting and soft.
Some time during the cooking, I took the grease from the bacon and added it to the green beans. I also took some of the bacon I cooked and crumbled it up and put it in the beans trying to make sure I had all the good taste of the bacon I could get in my green beans. I also added some salt. Usually, people cooking these also add black pepper, but I don’t like black pepper, so I just put the black pepper next to the beans when I serve them and let whoever likes black pepper to add it to the beans.
My beans turned out really good! They are a perfect side dish to any meal. They were so good that we were going back for seconds. People don’t do that often with vegetables. When I saw my daughter filling her plate up with beans again, I knew I had made the right thing. My Korean son in law doesn’t get home from work until 11:00 in the evening, and I am curious to see how he will react to the beans. I can bet he will like them because I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like green beans cooked this way.
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