Thursday, March 15, 2012
Phillip used to grow our butterbeans and peas but now we purchase them from a local produce stand, Wells Produce, which is very convenient to our home. We always try to get the first picking of the butterbeans and peas when the season begins. We like for them to be young and tender. The butterbeans and peas that we buy have already been shelled, so we bring them home and prepare them for the freezer. I first wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or trash that may have gotten on them during the shelling process. I place them in a large pot and cover them with water. I place them on the stove and turn the heat up to high. Once they come to a rolling boil, I remove them from the heat and pour them into a colander to drain the water. I then place them into my sink that already has cold water with ice in it. This cools the butterbeans or peas quickly and then I place them into pint bags. I finish filling the bags with cold water and then seal the bag. They are ready for the freezer and will be available for cooking whenever we'd like to have them.
When I am ready to cook a bag of butterbeans, I remove a bag from the freezer. I place the frozen butterbeans that I have removed from the bag into a boiler and then fill the boiler half full of water. I add a tsp. of salt and 2 Tbsp. of Mazola corn oil. I bring the butterbeans to a boil and then cook for 40 min. They are just done and not overcooked.
Everybody seasons their butterbeans and peas to their preference. My granny used white meat, my mother used ham hocks, and my mother-in-law used bacon drippings. I have used ham hocks and bacon drippings but now prefer the corn oil.