Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans

Dear Boys,

I’m always delighted to go to the garden and see what is ready to be picked.  It’s like manna from Heaven.  A harvest just waiting for us.

Green beans amaze me.  One day there are short, tiny beans.  Almost like threads and about an inch long.

A couple days later, full-grown beans have taken their places.

If we were to set up camp and watch one continuously, I wonder if we’d actually notice it growing.

I guess we’d tire of the waiting, but I wonder.

Sometimes it seems y’all grow so fast I might be able to see you change, as well, if I were to watch you around the clock.

All this growing and developing, the way life keeps going and going.  It’s mind-boggling, really, and ever captivating.

Vegetables.  Babies.  Young ladies and men.  People and places all around us.

There is much to notice in this big world.

While you’re taking it all in, you might want a delicious way to prepare your green beans.  This one should be considered.  There’s bacon involved, after all.

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These beans are from our garden.  They are called Rattlesnake beans due to the print on some of the beans.

Another thing that can capture your curiosity:  the markings disappear when cooked!

See?!  Much to notice . . .

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You’ll need to put them in a colander and wash them.

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Next you’ll notice that one end of the bean is where the stem was attached to the plant.  (Right side)

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You don’t want to eat this part, so you’ll snap it off of all the beans.

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The other end can stay.

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I had a bunch of beans and was trying to decide how many of them to cook for a neighborhood get together we were attending.  I gathered them in bunches of 7 or 8 for counting purposes.

If it is winter or if you don’t have a garden and are buying beans at the grocery, you can do this same thing to decide how much to purchase.  In the winter, I grab a small handful, put in the produce bag, 1, grab another, put it in the bag, 2, grab another, etc.  I keep going until I have as many servings as I want.

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Next you’ll put the needed amount in a steamer basket.

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The basket fits on top of this pot which has an inch or two of hot water on the bottom.  The basket has holes on the bottom which allows the steam to pass through the beans and cook them.  The beans don’t touch the water.  No nutrients are washed away with the draining of water like it is when vegetables are boiled.  It is a tasty and healthy means of cooking vegetables.

I was 40 before I had a steamer, so it may not be something you own when you first set out.  You can put a couple tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe dish and add the beans and steam that way, as well.  Just be sure to cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave a small opening to vent the steam.

I turned them every couple of minutes while steaming to make sure all the beans were reaching the steam.  Keep steaming until the beans have all turned a bright green.  It will probably take about five minutes.

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No more rattlesnake prints!  Amazing, huh?!

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I laid out the hot bundles using tongs before wrapping, but you could grab a handful at a time and wrap as you go.  You’ll recall that each bundle has 7 or 8 beans.

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Cut a pound of bacon in half.  A knife will do the job, but these 99¢ kitchen shears make easy work of it.  I think they are the best bang for your buck you’ll get as far as kitchen tools go.

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Wrap each bundle with half a strip of bacon.

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Secure the wrap with a toothpick.

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Lay the bundles on a baking sheet that has a lip on the side.  There will be juices involved, so a flat cookie sheet will not do.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  (Sorry.  Forgot to get a photo.)

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Measure 1/2 cup pancake syrup.

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Pour that into a small bowl containing a stick of butter that has been melted.

Note:  This was the amount of sauce I used for about 20 bundles.  You would, of course, need less for fewer green beans.

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Whisk until well blended.

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Drizzle sauce over bundles.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Remove foil and turn oven to broil.  Cook about 15 minutes more.  Keep an eye on them.  You just want to broil them until the bacon crisps up a bit.

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Now you’re ready for a dinner party with friends where you’re sure to find much to delight and captivate you.

I love you,

Mom

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