I don’t sit around thinking about the past, my childhood, what have you, but every now and then a smell, a taste, a bag of pole beans sitting on our porch, whisks me back to that day once upon a time.
We were leaving to take May to school, when I saw a Captain D’s paper sack sitting on the porch. The top was wadded down a bit. I stopped to see what it was when May hollared that it was just some stupid green beans and she was going to be late. (another example of teen drama, we were 10 minutes ahead of schedule and she was going to have to just stand outside until they unlocked the doors. Typing it out like that, I see that maybe she wanted to hang out outside…)
When I got back home, I opened the bag. These were no mere green beans, they were shelly beans. Looking into the bag, I was torn from 2013 and popped up on Mama Brown’s porch back into 1979, maybe. I remember the smell of the shelly beans, how they were my favorite. In my memory, we were sitting on the front porch, shelling beans, talking about what ever (ok, we children were most likely complaining), and laughing.
Snapping back into the here and now, I grabbed the beans and brought them into the kitchen. I remember how much I really did not like picking or shelling beans, but someone else had already picked them and shelling was the least I could do.
As a kid, I never really made it past the shelling of the beans. As an adult, I’ve learned that there’s a good chance that winging it with some bacon ends works out most of the time. I got a big pan, turned it on medium, and added a tablespoon of lard. Once the lard was melted I added some bacon ends.
Once I got the bacon ends all fried up, I dumped the beans on top. I added water to cover and then a little more water. I added about a tablespoon (it really hurts to measure, seriously) of dehydrated onions*, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
I turned the pot of beans up to high until they started boiling. Once boiling, I lowered the heat to medium, popped a lid on them, and went about my business. After the beans had been cooking about 5 hours it was my business to make the meat loaf. I decided to make armadillo loaves.
When Michael got home from work, he asked if I got the beans. I told him they were cooking. Turns out the guy who says girls can’t do pull ups and his uncle brought the beans. I wonder if Michael told him I did a whole pull up? (seriously, I did one. One day I will be able to do two in a row)
Between the beans and the armadillo loaves, the house smelled like I imagine Heaven smelling like when they’re out of bacon. That hair Michael found in his beans wasn’t even a hair at all, it was a string from a bean. I’m thinking that with all the genetically modificatin’ going on now-a-days, that them beans are regenerating their strings because I shelled the heck out of them. (kidding, maybe?)
Other than a couple of strings, the taste of the beans whisked me back to nineteenseventysomething sitting at a kiddy table at Mama Brown’s house, eating shelly beans, corn, and a turkey leg. I laughed, thinking about the time Mama Brown asked me if I’d like to go with her to pick up some chicken for dinner, but that’s another memory for another day.