Saturday, September 8, 2018

St. Francis Under the Pole Beans

Hello. I hope you are all having a good, quiet weekend. The weather has been really nice these past three days. Cool and dry. What a change! Green beans are really producing well, maybe too well for me.

I always liked the imagery of St. Francis. He was known as a friend of animals and nature. Here he stands under the pole bean arbor I made this spring. I wanted to make more room for onions and potatoes, so decided on pole beans rather than bush beans.

Here's another view. As a non-Catholic, I always thought my own religion was a little too severe when it came to saints. Of course that was years ago in Lutheran confirmation class, so I have decided for myself that Francis was a good guy. How could you not respect a guy who invited birds to rest on his shoulders?

Today, there was a nice clear view of my farm's hayfield looking to the southwest. The neighbor that has been harvesting the hay has decided to plow up the field and disk it. He still has to seed it with alfalfa and red clover. I'm hoping that it gets done this fall. I don't have the farm equipment to get it done, as it's very expensive. 

As I worked in the kitchen getting green beans ready for the freezer I took this picture of the view to the north. My house is surrounded by a lot of trees, maybe too many, but it has kept the house cool this summer. I don't have air-conditioning.

I don't follow the traditional freezing procedure. I don't blanch the beans. I also don't "flash-freeze" them on cookie sheets. For me, it's a waste of time and anyway not really possible in a conventional freezer. I just lay enough beans flat in one layer in gallon freezer bags to feed maybe 2 or 3 people at a meal. They come out just fine and a lot more flavor remains than if you blanch them. I make sure to wash and re-use the bags always.

Baby Boy (Byron) wanted me to show him off by the ripening plum tomatoes and goldenrod. He likes the attention. Some folks say the plum tomatoes don't have much flavor, but I think it comes out when they are cooked. I really like them.

I've been trying to cook out of the freezer to make more space. Chicken soup was on the menu tonight. I make enough for 5 more meals later on. It's especially good to have them ready for the winter, when I like to enjoy the luxury of the "hibernating season." So I'll be making more soup this coming week, chili, chicken, ham and navy bean etc. Today I used up carrots that were slightly past their prime, a few small onions and more green beans. I try to make do with what there is here. 

I hope you take time to make use of what we've been given. Simple food is the best. Have a good weekend.


  1. We have been trying to use up freezer food too, I need to defrost the freezer and begin anew for winter. Your soup looks good! I love fresh green beans...yellow ones too but they are hard to find. The weather has been awesome...although it froze nearby one morning the ladies say their hanging baskets froze. We get lake effect warmth for a bit yet :)

  2. I like your St Francis under the bean arbor. He looks quite at home there. I had a statue of the virgin Mary in my front garden but some idiots stole it.
    I like your simpler method of freezing beans. Easy to do.
    Baby Boy Byron is so cute sitting there by the Goldenrod.

  3. Love the St Francis figure. I am in the process of defrosting one of the freezers all ready for preparation for the Winter months.

  4. I like your St. Francis. I have one too and he adds a touch of simple serenity to the garden space.

    It is nicer today than it has been down here in s.e. FL. I'm thinking of making a green bean/Italian sausage soup this week. I also bought a chicken which I plan to cook in the crockpot, then use the meat in dishes, not sure what yet though.

    Baby Boy looks really sweet to me.

    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  5. I always liked the St. Francis prayer. :) Sounds like you have been very busy! I'm trying to make room in my freezer as well. I'm glad to hear that about freezing green beans. I mostly can mine, but with small amounts it's easier to freeze them, except for the blanching! Nice to know they turn out nicely even without that step.

    Byron looks like a real sweetheart!

  6. The title of your post caught my eye this morning--when I should have been working at the daunting task of packing up our house. I didn't grow up familiar with 'saints' but the stories of Francis are appealing.
    Summer weather drags on here in south-central Kentucky. Your soup making reminds me of September in Vermont--my home for most of my life. There was that sense of gleaning and using whatever was left in the garden, and chilly days were great for 'garden soup.' I usually put a handful of barley, rice or small pasta in to bolster whatever collection of veggies I needed to use.
    Preparing to move, we are trying to eat from the pantry and the freezer--we didn't plant a fall garden.
    What a lovely cat--I'm sure he is a helpful companion!

  7. What a farm. I imagine your trees are very helpful in keeping things cool in the summer. Soup looks delish and I can't wait until winter sets in for good. I am thinking about cooking a whole chicken in my clay roaster. I have some carrots and potatoes to add. Think that the chicken and many other meals made from it will keep us fed for a bit. Love multiple meals from one pot!

  8. Such a lovely view you have! Yes, simple fresh food is always good! Love Saint Francis in your garden!


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