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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Green Bean Spanish

Dinner meals when I was a child most often consisted of four items on the dinner plate; meat, potato, vegetable, and a salad.  Very seldom did we have casseroles or dishes like spaghetti or rice.  (My Dad ate a LOT of rice while he was in the Navy during WWII and Mom rarely cooked it because of that.) 

Mom made meals from things we had on hand, meat that we raised or vegetables that we grew. Sometimes cream, butter, and eggs that were produced at home were available to use as well. This vegetable dish, Green Bean Spanish, was a fun accompaniment for the meat, potato and salad that was so common.

I was going through my recipe cupboard a few weeks ago and came across a newspaper article I had saved that featured my Aunt Lois's "best recipes".   She had included this recipe of Green Bean Spanish with those.  Though she called it String Bean Spanish.

Rumor has it, that this recipe was handed down from my great-grandfather who lived in Mexico for a while as a child.  I never asked Mom where the recipe came from, but since her own Mom passed away when Mom was young, her mother-in-law, my Grandma Bolander, taught her a lot about cooking and caring for a family and I wouldn't be surprised if that rumor is true.  

You might like to give this recipe a try to dress up some green beans as a side dish for your next meat and potatoes meal!   

Green Bean Spanish
from Nora McGary Bolander, my grandmother

1 large can green beans  (I use a quart jar of home canned beans)
1/2 C. onion, diced

Boil until onion is tender.  Add and bring to boil

2 C. canned tomatoes, mashed up
1/2 C. crisply fried bacon, crumbled
2 T. sugar
2 T. vinegar
1/4-1/2 tsp. chili powder
dash of garlic powder (Mom really disliked garlic so she never added this)

In a small bowl combine 1 T. cornstarch and 1 T. water and stir.  Pour into boiling vegetables, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened. 

My Dad said this was one of his favorite dishes as a boy.  I love taking trips down memory lane with food, don't you?!   It is always interesting to me the memories that smells and tastes trigger that are tucked way back in your mind.  

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