Homestyle Green Beans ~ a traditional family favorite

I just love this picture of Grandma Bunni & Grandpa Al.  That is her Old Rose china bowl & the Mouse/'Meeses' Christmas Tree she got me over 30 years ago.  My nickname was the House Mouse.

Christmas is a time for making & serving family favorites.  The one dish that is always made for our holiday table is one that has been around for at least 60 years. You guessed it, I'm talking about a grandma recipe.  Grandma Bunni made the BEST Green Beans, EVER.  As a kid I would turn my nose up at canned green beans, crunchy steamed green beans & the mushroom soup green bean casseroles that are so often on a holiday table.  If it wasn't the 3-hour, slow cooked, deeply flavorful, full of bacon, Green Beans that she made - I wasn't having anything to do with them!  I admit it, I am a green bean snob & Grandpa Al was, too.  Hers or nothing.

Grandma Bunni's Green Beans
 I now have all of Grandma Bunni's old cookbooks, they are full of scribbles in the margins & splatters on the pages. I also have her handwritten notebooks, full of her own recipes & clippings of newspaper recipes.

When I was going through one of her notebooks the other day, I was really happy to see her Green Beans recipe, and was reminded of  her teaching me how to cook them.  I remember sitting at her feet, 'snapping'  pounds of green beans, while she would tell stories.  As I think back on learning to cook, it all started with her.  She was a cook who cooked by feel & taste, just as I do.  It is no wonder I cook the way I do, all you have to do is look at her recipe for the Green Beans ~ no measurements, just the ingredients and how long to cook.  A lot is left up to you, she gives you the culinary road map, but it is up to you to get there... 

Roasted Chicken, Green Beans, Veggies, Cinnamon Red Hots Applesauce

The Green Beans were wonderful with tonight's Christmas dinner.  One day I will teach J how to make them, too. It is a family tradition that hopefully will keep on going through the generations. I'm pretty sure Grandma Bunni sat at the feet of her own Grandma, learning how to make them.  I never thought to ask her.  If so, that would make the recipe over 100+ years old. Not as old as the West Virgina hills of her birth, but old, none the less.  I have a nice thought whenever I make her Green Beans, it is like having her at the dinner table with us, once again.  That thought always makes me smile...   :)   ~ Merry Christmas  ~

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