Recipes for Dried Beans (Jan 6, 2013)
We are looking for a traditional recipe for Volga German Bean and Noodle soup. Lacking that, here is our concept:
1 pound of beans, soak them overnight in cold water. Drain them and put them in a soup pot. Add about a quart of fresh water (enough to cover the beans plus one inch) a bay leaf, and one large onion, chopped. A small ham hock or chunk of salt pork is optional, but highly recommended. Bring it just to a boil and then lower the heat until it is barely simmering. Stir it and check the water level from time to time. If the beans have absorbed all the water, add more. Freshly harvested beans will cook in as little as two hours. When the beans are nicely cooked, but not split and mushly, add another quart of water, and remove the ham hock or salt pork. Bring it back to a boil, and add a quarter pound of egg noodles, and a lot a chopped garlic. Turn down the heat and let it simmer until the noodles are cooked, about 10 - 15 minutes. Add salt and black pepper and/or hot sauce to taste.
If the bean soup is done before it's time for supper, just turn the stove off and let them sit for up to an hour before adding the water and bringing it back to a boil to cook the noodles and garlic. Anything made with dried beans is even better reheated.
Frye's Golden Goose Baked Beans
Frye beans are a gift from our neighbor Torchy Oberg. I have never seen anything exactly like them in a seed catalog or other source. The closest is Swedish Brown Bean in Roger Yepson's A Celebration of Heirloom Vegetables, which includes a recipe for baked Swedish beans. I have not tried Roger's recipe, but here is my own:
One pound of beans, soak them overnight in cold water. Drain the beans, and put them in an oven-proof casserole. Add one large onion, coarsely chopped, a ham hock (or a shank if you want more bits of ham in your beans), 2 T of black molasses, one T of good prepared mustard, 1/4 t of ground cloves, and enough water to cover the beans about an inch deep. Bake, with the cover on, at 325 for about three hours, checking at about two hours to make sure there is enough water. You want the beans to absorb most of the water but not to get dry. Take the casserole out of the oven after three hours, remove the ham bone, and taste a bean to see how tender it is. Put the casserole back to continure cooking or just to stay warm. When the ham bone is cool enough to handle, cut off the bits of meat and return them to the casserole. If the beans are too juicy, leave the cover off for the last half hour to one hour of cooking.
Seed Saving Presentation at the Yard Garden and Patio Show (Feb 16, 2012)
Why Save Seeds?
· Improvement of a variety, adapting it to your climate, soil, and conditions
· Stewardship of seed diversity
· Breeding new varieties
Seed saving for beginners: Use open pollinated and self pollinating seed
· Beans, Peas, Lettuce: almost all garden seed is open pollinated
· Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant: both hybrid and open pollinated seeds are widely available
· Open pollinated and cross-pollinating species which can be isolated from other varieties of the same species.
· Vegetables which reproduce asexually (not truly seeds, of course) garlic, shallots, multiplier onions
Tips for Seed Saving
· Select your saved seed from as many individual plants as you can.
· Select your saved seed from the plants (not the fruit) with the highest quality.
· Save seed from early fruit; don't wait until the end of the season.
· Make sure your seed is thoroughly dry before it is stored.
· Glass jars and paper envelopes are suitable for seed storage.
· Store in a cool, dark place.
· Label your seed! Include the year.
Open-pollinated seeds are a result of either natural or human selection for specific traits which are then reselected in every crop. There are new open pollinated varieties as well as old ones. Seeds from open-pollinated plants will produce offspring like the parents, assuming they are protected from cross-pollination.
Open-pollinated vegetable varieties reproduce themselves in one of two ways: cross-pollination between two plants (via wind, insects or water) or self-pollination (between male and female flower parts contained within the same flower or separate flowers on the same plant). . . . So long as plants of an OP variety are kept isolated from different plants with which they can cross, they will produce seed that will come "true to type." In other words, the plants in the following generation will resemble the parent plants.
“What Is a Hybrid, Anyway?
A hybrid is the result of pollination of one genetically uniform variety with pollen from another specific genetically uniform variety, explained Jim Baggett, professor emeritus of horticulture at OSU. A seed company chooses parent varieties that will produce first generation offspring (F1 hybrids) with the special characteristics they desire. “Hybridization, or crossing, is done in a very controlled manner so that all of the plants grown from the hybrid seed will be the result of the desired cross and will be genetically identical," said Baggett, who has bred dozens of new varieties of vegetables for the Oregon agricultural industry and home gardeners, including several varieties of snap peas, tomatoes and green beans. ‘The pollination is often done by hand, which results in expensive seed.’ ” – Oregon State University web site