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Country Discussion Topics
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Leather britches
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Wanda    Posted 09-07-2004 at 03:11:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
How do you make "leather britches" from green beans called half-runners? All I know is our Granny strung them up with a needle and thread to dry and then cook them. The taste was awesome even as a child.


tacon1    Posted 09-07-2004 at 07:49:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
C/P from Mother Earth News:


MORE ON
"LEATHER BRITCHES"

GRACE V. SCHILLINGER

If you'd like to try preserving beans in an old-time, way-down-south way, here's how to do it:

Pick your green or wax beans when they're tender and "snappy." Wash them and snip off the stem end. The other little sharp pointed tip won't matter, so leave it on. Let the beans drain until fairly dry, or at least till the water has dripped off.

Take a large darning needle and thread it with white store string. Kite string will do fine. Then thread your beans on the cord, sticking the needle through the middle of each bean. I don't mean down the center of the bean, just through the center, so both ends of the bean are loose.

Fasten the first bean by wrapping the string around it and making a knot so it won't pull through. Then go on stringing till your string's full. Fasten the last bean the same as the first one.

Dry the beans by hanging on a wire in a clean, dry place. An attic or unused room would be okay. Or hang them in your kitchen. They'll be gab grabbers, for sure! In the most high fallutin' magazines you'll see how decorators festoon rooms with the most unusual items. All right?go ahead with your leather britches!

The beans will become dry and wrinkled and you'll wonder what in the world you'll ever do with them, besides just letting them swing there.

In winter, take your dried beans down?several strings for a large kettle?and remove the strings. Rinse well, then put on to cook. When they boil up once, pour off the first water so you know they're clean and to remove any bitter taste. Then pour in fresh water, toss in a ham bone and an onion to keep the beans company and salt and pepper to taste. Cook till tender.

You'll come up with a mighty fine cold weather dish that'll stick to your ribs. These beans will remind you of long-ago years when folks had to preserve much of their food by drying.

Happy eating!


Alias    Posted 09-07-2004 at 04:06:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
As soon as I saw Leather Britches in your topic I sensed this had nothing to do with Bikers.

Leather britches are, very simply, dried beans in the pods. And, the way to dry them is to string them using a needle and a thread and hang them out to dry.

Although Half Runners would be my first choice because of their small beans, you can use any one of the many varieties common to home gardens.

What you do is collect and clean, remove any dirt or leaf residue from the beans and string then onto a strong white sewing thread. (You may double the thread to insure added strength. Do not over load the string. When you have threaded about as many beans as you would normally use (cook) at one time, tie the string to form a loop and hang the string from a porch rafter or overhang. Do not allow the beans to touch any other object, such as a post. Just allow them to air dry with sunshine.

If memory serves me correctly, I don't think you want to remove the tip ends of the bean.

I'm planning a trip to western NC soon and when I get there I will ask for a refresher on the process. When I was a lad, it was common practice for the folk there to hang strings of beans from their porch. If I learn more, I'll post it....gfp


mojo    Posted 09-07-2004 at 04:37:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Beans you don't have to snap?! Sounds great, let us know more when you can.


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