As we head into the holiday season, I realize how much the food that I’ve grown up with has comforted me through bad times and good. Looking forward in a couple of weeks to sitting down with a huge roomful of people at my aunt’s house, I want to share with you some of the recipes that have been handed down to me through my family.
The first one, and the one that gave me the idea, I made this past weekend as a side dish for butterflied fried pork chops: southern style butter beans.
I’ve been eating butter beans all my life. My dad had a garden in the back yard for as long as I can remember. He was famous for his tomatoes, but he also put in snaps (green beans), potatoes (planted every St. Patrick’s Day), squash, cabbages, collards (also famous for in our family), and butter beans. I used to help him pick all these things during the summer and with the snaps and butter beans I remember him telling me to “Pick ’em close.” That meant he wanted me to pick every possible one that was big enough to eat, so we’d have a big enough “mess” of them to cook.
All of these foods have very fond memories for me, and I’ll be writing about them as I go along each week. By the way–all of this bounty was grown, picked, and frozen by my mom and dad so that we had these out of this world fresh vegetables well into the winter. And they were always on the table at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
So, here’s the recipe for good ole southern butter beans. This recipe comes to me from my cousin Valerie, but it may well have come to her from our grandmother or my dad. These are the butter beans I’ve eaten all my life.
Southern Butter Beans
3 lbs fresh butter beans (three packages of frozen butter beans can be substituted and Hanover Silver Label are the best)
3 cups water (1/2 pot full)
1 TBS salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick butter
Bring salted water to a boil. Add beans and return to a boil. Cover and cook on medium heat, boiling for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
When beans are done, add sugar and butter, stirring until the butter is completely melted. This should create a thick, buttery sauce for the beans.
Serve and enjoy.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane. Come back next week for another recipe full of southern comfort.