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Southern Green Beans

   In June, I was home visiting and talked with Dostie about photographing her snapping green beans. Her response was, "Oh, you don't want pictures of these wrinkled old hands".  We sat in her kitchen as I ask her about cooking tidbits while she, at 90 years old, snapped beans for lunch. Green beans were on the table for nearly every meal at her house that I can remember, and they were always judged while snapped, 'these beans look good' or a few choice words if they weren't up to par. Once the beans were cooked to perfection, they were always served in a pewter bowl typically on top of a Williamsburg trivet. Dostie always cooked them with a couple of slices of thick bacon, and I can hear her say, "You might as well not even bother with the beans if you don't have bacon," in her drawn out Southern drawl. One week after we shared this archetypal bowl of green beans, she passed away. 

Dostie would have been 91 years old this past week and to celebrate, Aunt Mary came to visit me in Denver. We enjoyed antiquing, mountaineering, eating out and sampled any exquisite chocolate shop we could find to commemorate Dostie's birthday. Of course, we prepared one thing at home to eat, a big bowl of green beans with a couple of the thickest slices of bacon we could find. Dostie, what will we do without you. 

Southern Green Beans

Prep: 10min / Cook: 30-45min / Serves: 4-6

  • 1 pound fresh green beans- washed, ends removed (snapped)
  • 2 thick slices bacon
  • 1/4+ tsp. black pepper- JR Watkins
  • 1/4+tsp. salt- Redmond Real Salt

Once green beans are snapped, place them into a pot and cover the beans with water. Add bacon, salt and pepper to the beans and bring them to a boil over high heat. Once the water that contains the beans boils, lower the temperature to medium and cook covered until the water is almost all cooked out and the beans are tender. Serve and enjoy!

James Walker Wood Bowls

   James Walker lives in the cypress wooden house he built thirty-seven years ago, located on the exact farm where he was born and raised in south Georgia. His wood turning skills began to take shape after taking a few non-credit courses at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, followed by additional courses at John C. Campbell Folk School. He now finds inspiration in attending symposiums sponsored by Southern States Woodturners and Georgia Association of Woodturners where he meets fellow wood-workers, shares ideas and observes other handcrafted wood pieces. Some of James's creations include bowls, vases, salt and pepper grinders and oil candles. His bowls and vases vary in size and shape in accordance with the variation of native wood he chooses to use. Among the wood varieties are cherry, maple, black walnut, poplar, sycamore and even pistachio. When someone in the area finds a fallen tree, they call James to see if he would like the wood to reclaim. His workshop is right in his backyard, encouraging the continuing turning of these masterful wooden pieces. The workshop has also become a local hang-out for woodturners in the area to gather and share knowledge and techniques. His bowls are my go to for special gift giving, or for anyone who deserves a remarkably exceptional present!

James Walker is one of the few extraordinary artist that we are lucky enough to be associated with. In addition to this blog feature, his one of a kind, hand-turned wooden bowls are now available in The Whole Family's Food Shop! Thank you Mr. James for the devotion and creativity which encompasses each and every piece.