27 June 2011

Green Beans ... Very Special.

'Green Beans'  is the recipe title. In the text, it says this preparation is 'very special'; this, from a collection of  'colonial recipes' published years ago by The Old Farmer's Almanac.  Well, I've had the booklet for years and have finally gotten around to making this version of summer green beans. It has been chilly and damp and stormy and depressing for the past week, here in New England.  It's a good thing that I have new-born kittens to cheer me or I'd surely have crabbed at Silent Bob and the dogs, bitched at my children for not even giving one surly comment about why I don't bake more often those cute cookies I posted yesterday, sent a nasty letter to Boston Red Sox management about John Lackey and his 'lack thereof', and gone to ground (or bed) with a good book, a pot of herbal tea (or something stronger) and a hot water bottle.

Instead, today I have roasted a chicken with spice rub and lemons poked here and there (with grumpy glee), roasted some tater wedges, and prepared ... green beans. So there!

So, if green beans are the title of this recipe, why is that slather of white stuff front and center? Special ... that and the onions are working here.  The sweet white onions get a quick boil ...with a salty water. The beans get added to the onions and water to come to a blanched crisp. The sour cream/heavy cream/flour/ pepper slather gets added as a thickening agent ... and finally ...

butter and basil. Fresh green summer herb and ... well... butter! Butter! Can it get any better? Or, as the booklet states, 'very special'. So there!

Give the beans a try, so that I don't bitch and moan about no one appreciating this 'colonial recipe'.  Gush, people, gush! JK!

'Special' Green Beans - printer friendly

Green Beans
a special preparation
courtesy of The Old Farmers Almanac Colonial Cookbook

Serves 6-8


1½ c. water plus ½ tsp. kosher salt
2 good-sized onions, thinly sliced rings
2 lbs. fresh green beans, washed and tipped
1 heaping tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. butter
½ c. heavy cream or sour cream (or a mix)
fresh basil leaves, washed, rolled and sliced into ribbons
black pepper
Making the dish:

1. Boil the onions in salted water for a few minutes. Add the green beans and continue boiling until the beans are bright green and starting to ‘tender’.

2. Mix the cream/sour cream, flour, black pepper and mix to a paste.

3. When the beans are bright green and just beginning to soften, add the flour slather and stir to thicken.

4. Lower heat and cover, cooking until green beans are almost tender.

5. Stir in the butter and slivered basil and let the butter lump melt. If the sauce is too thick, add just a bit more cream and stir to make a smooth sauce.

6. Turn into a serving dish and serve.


  1. Sounds wonderful. And Mark doesn't care for creamed veggies, so more for me! I'll let you know what I think.

  2. looks divinely simple but I love green beans, this would make a perfect accompliment to many a dish in my house... x

  3. These do sound special ;) And definitely since they lifted you up and became part of a fabulous meal that I wish I had in front of me. Yum!

  4. They just sound so delicious. I can't wait for local green beans!!!

  5. Gorgeous beans and they sound quite naughty with all that cream and butter. Just the sort of naughty to pull me out of the grumpies. Yep, I got them too. Not enough sleep, not enough cleaning of the kitchen by my otherwise lovely man. Not enough naughty food.

  6. You just made me like green beans. I don't dislike them, but they're not on my list of favourite veggies, but these I would eat! I hope your weather improves. Right now as I'm typing this, it's so dark outside, it's going to pour any minute. :o(

  7. What a delicious way to eat green beans! So creamy! Yum.

  8. Hope you are feeling better today!
    I have never seen green beans served this way; looks creamy good,

  9. @ Gushing Followers - Thanks for acknowledging my grumpiness and saying such supportive things! Much better mood today! The sun is out and I've picked strawberries and made jam! Who can be crabby in a sunny field of berries, I ask you! Cheers to all!


Anonymous comments will not be accepted. Please be aware that due to spamming concerns, I must be able to track back. Use your Google account ID to comment.