I have learned that there is something about growing my own dried beans that makes me think of them as more than food. They are beautiful, shining, glorious lovelies worthy of art haha!
This summer we had a great run of Kentucky Wonder beans fresh and crunchy and green right off the vines. I love this particular variety for it's reliable and delicious abundance. This year we had done beans so many different ways and for so many meals that we... I'll admit it... we got sick of them! ACK! I even preserved some in cans and in vinegar. So the last pods remained on the vine and there they rested. Until this weekend. My mother-in-law, Kathryn, and my son and I went about bringing in the remaining pods of beans and then Kathryn shelled them! (oh thank you!!) We ended up with 4.5 cups of dried BEAUTIFUL beans.After soaking them for 24 hours with a glug of vinegar I drained and rinsed them before placing the beans in a large stock pot, covered them with a few inches of water, added a tablespoon of sea salt and a smoked turkey leg for good measure. I cooked them, uncovered, on medium heat on the stove top for 3 hours and let me tell you: They are good. They are fantastic. I searched around to see if they were worth cooking as a dried bean and didn't find much so really I just went ahead and tried and I'm so very glad I did. I will ALWAYS grow enough to have a large batch of these dried beans from now on. They have a nutty flavor and a very creamy texture. I highly recommend them if you have never tried it.