No matter where you live this summer, the main topic of conversation is the hot weather. We like to complain and whine, human nature. Lord knows, I do my share. If I have to get out and do anything that gets me melted down to a pool of sweat, I'm ruint for the day!
When we were kids people set outside in the summer,everyone did it... it didn't mean you were old or lazy, it was an ACTIVITY. Setting out under the trees or on the porch or patio was something one did in the afternoon on Sundays or after supper any old summer day. When the last dish was washed, really kids we used to wash them with a dish rag and put them in a dish drainer on the side of the sink, we'd go outside and sit in folding chairs and do nothing until bedtime. The tv would have to set alone in the house...by itself!
If I was at Grandma's house, the chairs were rockers... made for serious sitting. Oh how I loved to go and stay in the summer. It wasn't all fun and games though, I had to help out in the big garden that ran along the west side of the house. It had long rows of corn, tomatoes and beans that needed picking every morning. We'd bring them in buckets to the back porch where they would be washed, then after supper she always had a pan of Kentucky Wonder beans or black-eyed peas in her lap to shell or snap. Even when she was relaxing she was working. As much as I loved to snap beans, it never suited Grandma. She required all the pieces to be the same length and no tails or strings were allowed. I'd help a little while, then she'd shoo me off to go play. My brother and I would run around catching lightening bugs until it was deemed "time to settle down," then I'd set on Grandma's lap until I'd fall asleep and Grandpa would carry me off to bed.
Granny's Li'l Green Butter Beans
From My Southern Food~A Celebration of the Flavors of the South
1 slice of bacon or 1 tablespoon of bacon grease
1 pound fresh baby lima beans, or 1 (16 ounce) package frozen lima beans(we call these butter beans)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
In a medium sized pot, cook the bacon for about 2 minutes on each side until there is bacon grease in the bottom of the pot (keep the bacon in the pot), or melt 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Add the lima beans, sugar, and salt, and bring the beans to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and allow the beans to simmer about 25 minutes, just until the beans are tender. Stir gently after 15 minutes of simmering to make sure the seasonings are evenly distributed. The juice should be a brothy texture, and the beans should be tender but not mealy.
Makes 4-6 servings
*Cornbread is a "given" when you have butter beans!