Grandma’s Green Beans

grandma green beans adjustedIngredients:

1 T olive oil
6-8 strips of meaty bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup onions, chopped
1 lb green beans
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t sugar
Optional: melted butter and/or salt to taste

Spoon Mage™ Note:

These are the green beans of your childhood, fresh from the garden, cleaned and snapped by the grand kids on the back porch, the savory well softened beans that we all loved at family gatherings. No new-fangled “crisp tender” beans here.

This recipe is for fresh green beans only. Do not sub in frozen or canned. They will disintegrate in the cooking.

Use any type of fresh green bean in any combination. In the picture above, I used three kinds: regular green beans, Italian flat beans, and stunningly beautiful purple beans (they lose their purple skins once cooked). We did not have enough of any one type ready for harvest, so into the pot they all went.


Rinse the beans. Give them to your grand children. Show them how to snap off the ends first and then snap each bean in half.

Add the olive oil to a good sized pot that has been preheated over medium heat.

When the olive oil starts to shimmer, add the bacon. Sauté until the bacon is quite well browned.

Add the onions and sauté until they onions soften, about 5-10 minutes.

Place the beans to the pot, sprinkle with pepper and sugar.

Add water to not quite reach the top layer of beans, bring to a low simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid, and let cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir every now and then.

Test with a fork at 45 minutes to find out if they are done. If not, let them go the full hour. Cooking time will depend upon the size of your beans.

Drain off the water. Serve them as is or melt in a couple tablespoons of butter. Salt them if you wish, but only after tasting.

Enjoy these at any home-style family dinner. They are superb with roasted chicken and a side of smashed potatoes. Or enjoy them on a grill out with sausage sandwiches and potato salad.

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