How To Make Leather Britches – Dried Green Beans

Foxfire Book how to make leather breeches-dried beans  

Ever heard of Leather Britches? They're simply dried green beans. Back in the day before-canning jars and pressure cookers were common place-dried green beans-"leather britches" were the most popular way of preserving green beans for use during the winter months.

I've heard of leather britches-but honestly I've never eaten them. In my life time-we ate either fresh green beans or the ones Granny had canned. But making and eating leather britches is something I've always wanted to try.

How to make leather breeches

I consulted my Foxfire books (see first photo) to see how to string up the green beans. The books gave varying directions from different folks. Some suggested breaking the beans before threading them on a string-others said to only string the beans before threading. Miss Cindy shared with me-her Grandmother didn't thread her leather britches at all-she simply placed the green beans on a screen and set it in the sunshine-taking it back inside at night-and repeating the process until they were dry.

How to dry green beans

Whether to put the stringed beans in the sun was another point with varying opinions. Some felt the beans should be in direct sunlight others felt indirect sunlight.

Making leather breeches

Even how to thread them on the string was up for debate. Certain folks said put the needle through the end of the bean pod but never through a bean. Others said put the need directly through the middle of the bean pod making sure you went through a bean. After the beans had dried-some folks simply left them on the string-taking them down as they needed them-others removed the beans once they were dry and stored them in sacks or bags.

So after digesting all of the info-what did I do? I pulled the string from all the green beans, threaded the needle through the end of the bean, and hung my string of leather britches in indirect sunlight where there is plenty of air flow. Will it work ? I don't know do you?

Tipper

p.s. Sometime this winter-I'll let you know how I cook the leather britches and if I like them enough to string some more next summer.

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61 Comments

  • Reply
    Dawn Parris
    August 22, 2017 at 9:59 am

    We still do this. No millers bother ours (moths). I have a screened in porch, just perfect. But hey, you are gonna wash em anyway. You buy from a big chain store, and would prob shudder at what has touched your food!! These beans have the best flavor! Cooked up with ham or streak-meat. You gotta try it. The old folks knew a thing or two. And I am happy to see someone passing it along. When they are good and dry, cut em down and put into a clean cloth sack. Toss in a handful of salt and shake it up. Ready to store. Just use a string to tie the top of your sack up, and hang in your kitchen (quite pretty). My mother had several pillow cases that she used just for this. I remember her sunning and ironing the pillow cases to ‘get em clean’. Such wonderful memories. Keep in mind that the beans will be a dark color when cooked, and have intense flavor. Not like fresh beans at all. But way better!! Thanks so much for the post. I may cook some up for tomorrow:)

  • Reply
    Cliff A
    February 23, 2017 at 3:09 am

    Wow, what a trip back in time . . . I remember hearing tanning your leather britches; but never eating them. I was looking at a YouTube about canning green beans when the lady pointed to her green beans sitting in the corner of her kitchen and mentioned that they were her “Leather Britches.” Curiosity tweaked, I went to Bing.com to see what were leather britches. I then found this blog and struck real gold.
    After reading the comments and a few people mentioned shuck beans and Moths it was then that I knew what they were taking about. My family came form Kentucky and I lived in Georgia, so shuck beans is what I heard them called. I didn’t know how they were made because I was only old enough to eat them. I remember that they were a real treat around Thanksgiving time and my grandpa would send down a box of them for my mom to cook for the family. Just thinking about the turkey, shuck beans, cornbread, mash potatoes, and white sweet corn and cranberry sauce and turkey gravy just makes my mouth water. Then the next day we would have ham hocks, shuck beans, fresh, hot cornbread, greens and apple pie. Best Thanksgiving week ever.
    After reading everyone’s statements, I will make my own shuck beans this season, even though I now live in California. Thank-you everybody for your comments. It really means a lot to read them and remember way back when . . .

  • Reply
    Tammy from KY
    September 6, 2016 at 11:14 am

    Wow this really takes me back! Shuck beans were always used for special occasions and holidays. There is nothing like them!! I am going to string some up myself, my Cincinnati neighbors wont know what to think Lol

  • Reply
    Tipper
    February 24, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Lorraine-thank you for the comment! I think cut short beans could be used for either one. Most folks prefer to use a certain type of bean for a certain process-but usually they can be used interchangeably.
    Hope you have a great night!
    Tipper
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Lorraine Adams
    February 23, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I haven’t read all the comments but by half. I googled “cut short” beans and found this. http://www.heirlooms.org/cut-short-beans.html
    Now to my next question,are “cut short” beans shucky beans or green beans?

  • Reply
    elscotto815@yahoo.com
    October 26, 2014 at 8:32 am

    I grew up in Eastern ,Ky, Floyd county,,on the Leather Britches issue, we always did this, but we called them shuck beans, but whatever you called them,, we strung them up on thread by running the needle between a bean and the next bean, when the string was full, we would hang them on a clothes line or where ever they could be in dry air until they were completely dry,,then cooking them with a piece of fatback until tender, with cornbread, pickled corn and fried salt bacon…mmmmmm good..

  • Reply
    Anthony Stewart
    September 19, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    The term Ramps. I seen this in a earlier post posted by Steve.I remember Ramps when I was a kid. They grew wild and had tops that looked like a tulip. Wow this brings back such fond memories. Too bad times can’t be as simple as they were then.

  • Reply
    Anthony Stewart
    September 19, 2014 at 11:45 am

    I grew up in southern West Virginia. I remember my parents would string the beans and spread them out on sheets of tin. They would set them out in direct sunlight to dry. They would bring them inside at night. The comment in a earlier post about the moth. I remember people called the moths millers. I live in Illinois now and I learned if I wanted people to know what I was talking about I called them moths. LOL

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    September 3, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I have enjoyed reading your blog so much. For some reason I stated to a co-worker about leather britches and she had no idea what I was talking about. I pulled up the name and came across your blog. How wonderful it is to read such stories with laughter and tears. My grandmother made leather britches every year. I don’t think I have ever eaten them but I do remember seeing them hanging out on her screened in porch. I think I may try some next summer to see how they taste. Oh, and your comment on miller or moth, I had to laugh. I’m from the southern part of West Virginia and growing up we always called them millers. My husband is more citified and he called the moths. I remember he would always correct me until I broke and started calling them moths too. I think I will go back to my country ways and call the millers again! Thank you again for such a wonderful blog. Brings back such wonderful memories of my grandparents. Oh, and the apron stories are some of my favorites also. I remember grandma always wore an apron over her dresses too. When she did not have it on that meant she was at church or at the store. Keep the stories coming, I love the memories it pulls from my mind.

  • Reply
    Mark
    August 30, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Granddaddy would spread them out on a screen like you buy at the hardware store with a wood frame and put then up in the barn loft for a few days they would turn tan and we would cook them with either salt pork or a ham hock. let me add one more Grandma Madge would slice lettuce like shreds and slice green onion and wilt the lettuce with fat back grease called Grease Salad soooo gooood.

  • Reply
    Fred in KY.
    August 5, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Being raised on the Northern banks of the Ohio River we always had leather britches growing up and usually tried to plant a later crop to harvest in early fall. When I was about 6 years old we went from a coal stove to forced air gas floor furnaces. The two floor grates were placed in doorways between rooms to maximize heating. From that point on it looked like we had green bean curtains dividing the rooms during the fall. They were the best bean dryers ever. It would not be Thanksgiving without leather britches. I was pleasantly surprised to find leather britches on my future mother in laws table. But when I commented on them, they looked at me like I had two heads. Apparently in Buckhorn Ky. and most of Eastern Kentucky the proper name is Shuck Beans. Regardless of the name they are delicious and I still make them every year.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    April 28, 2014 at 11:52 am

    So glad to have stumbled on this!! Looking forward to putting back beans this year and I do prefer “leather breeches” to canned 🙂 Loved reading everyone’s comments! My grandma would string the beans and lay them out on a sheet or bro2n paper bags in the sun for a few days, 5hen she strung them in sewing strings and hung them in the attic over the carport. She actually had bags she had fashioned out of cheese cloth to keep the dust and such off of them. After they were good and dry, she placed them in an old feed sack until she cooked them. She would soak them over nights, then cooked them with side meat and potatoes :). Some of the best eating ever!!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    January 22, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I read about this, and was told by my Granny. I can’t wait to give it a try this year with our bean crop. Maybe it will save us some space in our cubbards with the canning jars. I’ll be trying quite a few varieties of beans though. This is a great post, and some great comments! Keep up the great work!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Erin
    August 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center in Berea, Kentucky sells a lot of the old tender greasy, cut short and fall beans. They have a website if you google them (I don’t know it offhand) and will mail them to you. I think they also do a seed swap around the first week in October. Get good directions before you go because the one time I went, I ended up on the wrong road. Luckily many friendly people in the area know Bill Best and the SMAC and can give directions.

  • Reply
    peggy rickard
    September 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks for the tip on saving ham juice for beans.

  • Reply
    Amandaallen5
    September 13, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    My mom does this every year but she just puts them on a white sheet out in the sun…we love them!

  • Reply
    Anita Weichert
    August 18, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    thanks, this really works. Good to know when we have all these beans from a good crop!

  • Reply
    Candace
    August 2, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Getting a bushel of half-runners and a bushel of pink tips tomorrow. Going to can the half-runners and make leather britches out of the pink tips. Can’t wait to see how the leather britches turn out. I remember my grandparents stringing up beans to hang for drying on their porch. I’m still lucky enough to have them around (ages 85 and 92)and will string mine to hang on their porch to dry, as well.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    July 18, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Steve-thanks for the great comment!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Steve At Thewell
    July 17, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Great web site, I just stumbled across it!! I live in SE Kentucky and ate “shucky beans” all my childhood (I’m in my 40’s now). They were usually reserved for a “treat” side dish in the Fall and Spring, especially for holiday meals and pot-luck dinners. I have also heard them called “leather britches,” usually by the older folk. It seems everyone has a recipe for drying them! I last raised a big garden in 1996 but this year my mother and I are sharing one. I plan to dry some beans since we are getting a pretty good harvest of one type, the Valentino bush bean. Not sure how they will taste dried. Our half-runners harvest is miniscule and a row of “greasy beans” haven’t produced any yet. Maybe the very dry weather (drought) we have been having! But the Valentino bush beans are doing well! I got the seed from Mennonites through the extension office. Anyway, last time I dried them (and it was white half runners in 1996), removed the strings, broke them and layed them on a sheet in the back window of an extra car I had that I rarely used. I have been told that direct sunlight was best. I believe I would move them around on the sheet every few days and crack the car windows during days when it didn’t rain just for some air flow. I also threaded some with needle and thread and hung them up outside on the porch (I had also broke those up in about 1 inch pieces. Both methods worked pretty well. After they dried (can’t remember how long, but probably a couple weeks or so), I just put them into Mason Jars and put lids on them. That’s all I did. I believe that later, right before i cooked them, I soaked them for some time, maybe a few hours at least. (I would always suggest removing the strings good though before drying since bean strings never taste good – whether fresh or dried!! I remember they cooked up good and tasted great in the fall. A great addition to the Thanksgiving or Christmas meal!! They will not produce as much as fresh beans do due to the drying. I am only guessing but I would say the drying cuts the volume by one-third to one-half, so a pound of fresh beans might only make a half-pound of Shucky beans – just a guess. Shucky beans used to be quite common around these parts, but it seems fewer people grow gardens anymore and many who do don’t go through the work of canning, freezing or drying the foods they grow and many young people don’t know what they are, even around here. About all the older people are familiar with them though. Even if you can beans and freeze them, I would suggest drying some just to see how your experience turns out. Like I said, if they turn out, they make a great side dish for fall and spring holiday meals or a popular dish to take to your church meal or family gathering. (Note: I have read some places that if you dry them outside in the open air, to “pastuerize” them before cooking to kill any bugs or germs. You can google this but I believe it was setting oven temp to bake LOW, spreading beans on a cookie sheet, using something to keep the oven door propped open a few inches to keep the beans from cooking and keep the beans in the oven for so many minutes in the pre-heated oven. I don’t remember the exact time – you can google it. I’ve never heard of the ole-timers doing this and I haven’t done it so don’t know if it’s worth it or not. I would think a good thorough soaking then the cooking would be enough.) (You CANNOT do this in a microwave oven! It will cook the bean, or burn them if they are not in water!

  • Reply
    Wendy Row
    June 18, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Holy cow! I love leather britches! I was born in WVa and my mother, her 9 sisters and her mother and grandmother made leather britches. We used Half Runner green beans and it worked marvelous. Just hang them where the air can circulate around them. We hung ours in the wood shed. Nice and dry and hot in the summer, out of the sun. I miss leather britches, good corn bread, green onions with hot bacon grease poured over and salted, RAMPS! I’m sure most of you have NO idea what I’m referring to but that’s okay, most people don’t know. I sure do miss those things.

  • Reply
    Doug P.
    April 1, 2011 at 11:34 am

    My family all live in KY but I was born and raised in FL. My uncle has always supplied us with shuckey beans and we have them every year at holiday time. Believe me when i say they keep forever! The last batch I cooked was 10 years old and they were AWESOME! The old timers in the hills knew what they were doing before refrigeration was available. I soak overnight, drain add fresh water, some hog jowls or side meat and cook until tender. Paired with a pone of corn bread you will be in heaven!

  • Reply
    eris
    February 10, 2011 at 11:09 am

    This is probably way too late to be of use, but y’all might want to check out http://www.heirlooms.org – they sell real, honest-to-goodness heirloom leather britches beans: cut shorts, greasy beans, tobacco worms.
    My folks used to string “pink tip greasies” on waxed dental floss in our shed till they dried. Then stewed them with ham and onions.

  • Reply
    Gayle
    July 27, 2010 at 6:09 am

    My Mother in Law taught me how to make leather breeches, and she always planted what she called “cut-short” greenbeans for that purpose. Now when I ask for cut-short seeds, they , at the feed store don’t seem to know what I’m talking about. Does anyone know another name for cut-short green beans. We used to grow them in the corn so they could grow up the stalks and it worked well. If not are there any particular green been that dries better than any other. I have white half runners growing now.

  • Reply
    Linda Ogden
    June 8, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I loved reading this. It makes me so homesick for WV. I grew up there but now live in Florida. WV will always be my home. My mom used to make these leather britches when I was a little girl. I remember helping her string them with a needle. Some people also called them Fodder beans, not sure why. I still can some. Most people here have never heard much about canning etc. I always do green beans in February and tomoatoes in November when they are in season along with other veggies. This makes me want to do the beans again. They are wonderful.

  • Reply
    N,.S. Rights
    December 1, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Thanksgiving, 2009.
    We have livec in NYC and environs since 1987 but have relatives still in Appalachian KY. They sent us Shuckey beans and we added them to the Thanksgiving menu. What a treat. We soaked ovenight, poured off the soaking water (I know some do not) then simmered on the stove in chicken stock (made from last Sunday’s roasting hen) for three or so hours with salt port (could not get fatback in NY). Lovely. My husband said that at the first bite, for just a moment, he was six again. So it was worth it all

  • Reply
    Tipper
    September 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Ginger Leigh
     
    Thank you for the lovely comment! So glad you enjoyed your visit to the Blind Pig-and I sure hope you drop back by often.
    Blind Pig & The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Ginger Leigh
    September 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Growing up in Stuart, VA, my Granny White would make leather britches using “speckled Beans.” (They were white with purple/red specles all over the pod and bean.)
    She would string them by the ends with a needle and sewing thread and hang them up in the back room where the old kitchen used to be. They would stay there till she needed them for cooking. I can remember them hanging on the wall in bunches during the Fall. She always canned her green beans though. I guess it was a matter of preference.
    Lovely blog: I enjoyed looking through the different posts, and got a bit homesick too. I am especially glad to see you preserving folkways around you.
    Even though we live on a farm these days, it’s not the same with out Granny and Grandpa!

  • Reply
    Mary
    August 30, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Tipper,
    I am very interested in knowing if your method works and what the beans taste like. I’m sure the leather breeches would be delicious in soups and stews. Looking forward to finding out.
    Blessings,
    Mary

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 30, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Hey Tipper, I made Leather Breeches a couple of years ago in the dehydrator. They didn’t seem quite as good as the old fashioned way. It is also not an efficient way to dry a quantity of beans. The dehydrator full of beans equaled about one cooking when it was complete.
    I’ve always soaked then over night, sometimes with a half teaspoon of soda. Pour that off then parboil them, that takes care of any dust or such.
    I’ve also put a dried hot pepper in the pot with the dried beans. The peppers are dried on a string just like the beans—-MMMMM good eatin!

  • Reply
    Tipper
    August 29, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Cre-I ‘de-stringed’ the beans first. One of the old timers in the Foxfire book said too-and it made sense to me. I thought it would be one less step to worry about when I cook the beans this winter.
    Blind Pig & The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Tipper
    August 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Rick-I was reading in The Foxfire Book and also in The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery. I’m sure there is info about leather breeches in some of the Foxfire numbered editions as well.
    Blind Pig & The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    trisha too
    August 29, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    interesting post–I’ve never heard of drying green beans.

  • Reply
    Terry
    August 29, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Hey Tipper, loved reading along with your Pickle Along. I have made lime pickles, you soak the sliced cucumbers in pickling lime and then mix up and boil lots of sugar,vinegar and all kinds of spices. Yum o
    I have never strung green beans. I have helped can tons when I was still home. My favorite “Granny” memory was wishing I was old enough to sit out on Granny’s porch and snap beans with my aunts, Granny, and Mom. I finally did get old enough, and got to sit by Granny. She shore was particular bout how short I had to snap them beans. She also would scold me if I popped one,or five,in my mouth and started crunching away on them, raw. I still prefer eating them raw, or fried down w/fat back, or bacon and some season salt,really limp and OMGoodness! talk about good eatin. Gotta go I am taking up all the space today.
    Terry

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson
    August 29, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Funny how there are directly opposite opinions on this one. Good luck.

  • Reply
    Farmchick
    August 28, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    I have read about these beans in the Foxfire series and always wondered how they tasted in comparison to canned beans. Don’t forget to write a post about eating them later!

  • Reply
    Amy - parkcitygirl
    August 28, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Interesting! I’m excited to learn more with you 🙂

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    August 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Tipper,
    Great posting on leather breeches. Yes, I remember those beans. This posting brings back many childhood memories.

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    August 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    “Leather breeches”, what a great way of eating beans! Will probably never have the pleasure of experiencing, although I should never say never! Good luck, Tipper!
    And thank you for sharing another great concept!
    Have a wonderful weekend! :))

  • Reply
    Matthew Burns
    August 28, 2009 at 9:08 am

    If you give me some leather britches and a piece of fat back, you’ll have a happy man on your hands!
    Personally, I like leather britches better than fresh beans, but Shirley’s disagree’s with me on that. The flavor is completely different.
    We dried 2 bushels of leather britches this year. We always hang them on the back porch, the sun hits there in the morning but it is shaded the rest of the day. All told, we probably have a small plastic grocery bag full now that they are dry. It usually takes about a week for them to dry. Just make sure they get plenty of air circulating around them or else they’ll mold in the high humidity.
    You also get different flavor from different types of beans. My personal favorite type of beans for leather britches are Scarlett Runners. Another favorite are half-runners. We dried Blue Lake’s one year and they were good but just seems to dry up to near nothing.
    Usually our leather britches are eaten long before winter, in fact, as soon as they get dry and crackly, we soak them overnight and eat them. I’ve already had a small mess of them this year (so much for saving them).
    Shirley’s Aunt Meldie dries her leather britches and then she cans them, that way they are ready to heat and eat in the winter, and she doesn’t have to soak them overnight. They are good that way too. Aunt Meldie is just like me, she likes the flavor of leather britches, that’s why she cans the already dry beans.
    Matthew

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    August 28, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Tipper, I was also surprised to see green beans; I expected cowhide. 🙂

  • Reply
    Annie
    August 27, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    I spent many hours on the back porch when I was little, stringing Leather Britches. They were so good to eat on a cold winter evening.

  • Reply
    Rick Morton
    August 27, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    I remember reading that story in Foxfire. It sound like something I like to try I still a few bean left. What volume is that in?

  • Reply
    Cre
    August 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I’ve been wanting to do this! LOVE the Foxfire books. Such an interesting read. My MIL gave us the first 6 last year and I love to look through them.
    I may have to try this with some end of season beans.
    Why did you string them first? Or by string them or you talking about putting them on a string? I interpreted it as snapping the end and “de-stringing” if that makes sense.

  • Reply
    marlene
    August 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Very interesting! I think I may try some in the food dehydrator just to see what they’ll do. blessings, marlene

  • Reply
    Becky
    August 27, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I’ve heard of them all my life. But never seen or tasted them. I’m curious to see how you like them.

  • Reply
    Pat Workman
    August 27, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Well, I have to say that I never cared much for the taste or texture of cooked leather britches. I did love the idea of them though.
    Not long after I married, I dried some and prepared them for my husband to try. He had never heard of them. One problem I had was, they got got real dusty hanging out on the porch. Even though I rinsed them well before I cooked them, they still seemed dusty to me. That may be part of the flavor, you wouldn’t get the same effect with a dehydrator…haha
    My Aunt’s mother-in-law dried her apples and peaches on a screen. She covered them with cheese cloth to keep the flies off. Now those were so good in the winter. Made the best fried pies.

  • Reply
    Dennis Price
    August 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Let me know how they turn out. I might try that myself. We love veggies. Pappy

  • Reply
    Tipper
    August 27, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Vera-I wondered the same thing. After a google search I found this link. I also discovered-if the beans are broke before drying they are called shucky beans. If they are left whole-like mine they are leather britches.
    Blind Pig & The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Helen G.
    August 27, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    I’m surprised that you came up with something that I had never heard of… leather breeches. Sounds good though. We didn’t have much luck with our green beans. Our bush beans died before ever flowering and only half of our pole beans put anything out. They are still blooming so I’m hoping there will be more to come. I’m one of the cook ’em to death with fat back or ham scraps and a some onion.
    And a tip for you… when you bake a ham, pour the juices into a jar. Use the juices along with water when you cook up pinto bean or white beans. Kicks up the taste real good. If it’s going to be a while we put the ham juice/dripping in a big ziplock gallon bag and put it in the freezer for later. Same with the scraps of ham. too little for a sandwich bag and freeze them for bean seasoning.
    Helen

  • Reply
    Vera
    August 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I was just wondering, could you make leather britches the modern way, in a dehydrator?

  • Reply
    Tipper
    August 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Twosquaremeals-glad your brought up the differences in cooking beans. I didn’t realize you could eat green beans any other way than boiled all day-until I was grown.
     
                                                Blind Pig & The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    PictureGirl
    August 27, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Very interesting. I’ve heard of them but never tried. Can’t wait to see how they turn out.

  • Reply
    Nancy Simpson
    August 27, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Hi Tipper, I strung Leather Britches when we first moved to the mountains in the 1960s. To welcome us, a lot of our neighbors gave us beans, bushels it seems, but we did not yet have our electricity in. I was canning tomatoes and peaches on Coleman Cook Stove with a cabin being built around me. I remember how
    much fun it was with my mother helping me. I remember the Leather Britches did not make it till winter. We cooked and ate them before the leaves fell, if I remember rightly. We talked about how we would do that again, but we never did.

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    August 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Since I read the Foxfire books, I have wanted to try them.(leather britches beans) I guess this is the year. By the way, those pickles were the best, the young’uns loved them.

  • Reply
    Vera
    August 27, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    I can remember my mom done them both ways. Sometimes she put them on a string and sometimes she just layed them out on a cloth and put them in the sun every day and take them in at night. When she strung them we had a wood cook stove and she hung them on the wall in back of the stove till they dried.
    If you don’t like them I will sure take them off your hands. LOL
    There is nothing much better..

  • Reply
    fishing guy
    August 27, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Tipper: Well, I read Leather Britches and wonder what the beans were doing hanging there. What a silly way to start a post.
    BTW: Check out the young buck that came into my yard.

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    twosquaremeals
    August 27, 2009 at 11:19 am

    I’ve never had beans that way. We always ate them fresh or home-canned from our garden. I have fond memories of stringing and breaking beans for canning with three generations of women in my grandma’s living room.
    In our house, we have a green bean controversy. My husband likes fresh beans, cooked just barely so that they are still crisp. I can eat them that way, but I love Southern style beans cooked with fatback or bacon until mushy.
    My in-laws have a tradition for crisp beans that I can get behind because it means less work for me. They pick the beans and steam them with no stringing or breaking. Then everyone breaks the ends off and eats them with their fingers at the dinner table.

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    Nancy
    August 27, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Another awesome! Our local farms produce some kind of heirloom beans, cream color with pink splashes. My mother recalls my grandma canning this kind of bean. I’m going to try the string method with some and see what happens!
    Thanks for the great idea!
    Nancy

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    Keith Jones
    August 27, 2009 at 11:04 am

    We called ’em leather britches, and my great aunt used to make them just as you did…string the beans, then use a cotton thread to string them up, putting the thread through the end of the bean that used to have the ‘stem.’ The only difference was, she hung them up in the attic under the tin roof, and let me tell you, they dried out really quickly up there!

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    warren
    August 27, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Awesome! I’ve heard of them too but never done it or had them either. We’ve dried plenty of things by just putting them on a screen though…always had mixed luck…some stuff works and some stuff doesn’t. Anyhow, I can’t wait to see how it works for you this way and also how they taste later on!

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