The 3 stages of beans, a philosophical discussion

I had a revelation this year about beans. I am not such a fan of them, green beans, I prefer wax, or yellow beans but I have an envelope of “Blue Lake” beans from some specialty super-enviro-chi chi place and so I plant them year after year. Four or five plants is enough to meet my needs and then some. The seed packet has like 700 seeds (beans) in it so I’m kinda stuck with them for now.

When they start producing, they produce. I watch them turn from slim haricots verts, which are what I would prefer to eat, to the fatter pickling size and then, I realized this year, I can leave them on the vine at this point when they are not really edible (to my delicate taste buds) and they will become bean beans. I have raised beans for shelling before but hadn’t really thought too much about the fact that green beans can become shelling beans too. We certainly did not do this growing up.

The main advantage of this is that I don’t have to worry about picking them at the tiny, more toothsome haricot vert size. If they get fat and too tough for elegant mouths they can be pickled but that requires the work of pickling and needs to be done in a timely manner. So once they pass the point of no return the beans can just be left on the vine to get collected at some indefinite point. That’s more my dead-ass lazy style.

The great bean dilemma

I don’t really know how to handle something like this. Dainty little haricots verts and honkin’ GREEEN BEANS. One requires about 14 seconds of steaming and a dab of butter, preferably Irish. The other needs an hour of stewing with onions and garlic. Not enough of either for a meal for 4.

In the end I just cooked the big beans and threw the little ones in at the end. I needn’t have worried about it. No one noticed. Except of course, me.