This article is a part of "The Amish Cook Column", a weekly series of featuring a story & recipe from Gloria Yoder, Amish widow & mother of six from Flat Rock, Illinois
"Mom, you need to write a column about this!" Julia quipped as she scattered another handful of straw over her grandparents' newly seeded lawn.
Daniel's liking for putting in new yards was planted into all of us. No, I'm not running the skid steer to getting everything ready as he used to, but as I grabbed another handful of straw and spread it over the yard, the ache in my heart was soothed a tad. "Do you remember when we helped with Brother Javin's yard?" I asked Julia. Much had transpired since that day five years ago. Now, little Joshua was even helping as he scooped straw by the handful and dumped it off. The smile lighting his entire face spoke of the importance he felt.
My mind skipped ahead as I pictured the children playing in the yard the following summer. Lush green grass is a blessing, especially after trying to keep little boys out of mud.
This was the week of Grandpa Yoder's moving to their new house. Moving entails many tasks. Besides those last closet shelves to install and sinks to set up, there are all sorts of things to be hauled into the new house and a spot to be found for every bit of it. Aunt Mary was a huge blessing in managing the organization aspect, and Uncle Joseph helped with moving their belongings, putting in the new yard, and doing fix-it jobs.
Even the flu bugs showed up to help. Oh my, it made memories, just not the kind we would have chosen!
On Saturday afternoon, I told the children we'd head home and have supper; then when everyone has had their showers, we'll come back to sit down and see Grandpas in their new house.
A couple of hours later, we were at the entrance, getting ready to go, "You may wear your good stocking caps, boys, since you just washed your hair," I instructed the boys.
The short walk over the field and through the narrow strip of woods was soon bridged, and we were knocking at the door. "Come on in!" came the cheery greeting. I smiled. This was happening for real! We have enjoyed having them in the neighborhood since their move from Ohio a little over a year and a half ago, and now they are in their new house at last.
Candles flickered, curtains graced the windows; yes, it was inviting, and already, it felt like home. The children eagerly played in the toy corner while I visited the kitchen. Soon, Grandpa was dishing fruit slush into mugs for everyone. The children all stood around the new island and together enjoyed a refreshing treat. I knew how much Daniel would be pleased to see his children living next door to his parents.
I relaxed about how delicious it felt to be in the presence of other adults.
Life was never easy, but this moment was meant to be enjoyed.
Winding up with a recipe, Aunt Mary suggested I share the sweet and sour green bean recipe with you. The flavor is an authentic twist, blending a tangy, sweet combination. Try it for your Thanksgiving table, and remember to thank the One who is worthy to be thanked!
📷 Editor's Notes & Photos Of Sweet and Sour Green Beans
If you are looking for an easy Thanksgiving side dish featuring green beans, this is an easy one. And, yes, I was aiming for corner-cutting. So I just bought some cans of green beans and used them. The brown sugar really adds a rich, deep sweet flavor that balances the savory.
The recipe says "heat the green beans." Well, what does that mean? I was aiming for quick and I didn't feel like hassling with the stovetop, so I just microwaved them for four minutes. But I am sure you can heat them on the stovetop also. Then, per the instructions, I poured them into a bowl.
I fried the bacon, but I was impatient. I probably should have cooked it just a bit longer to make it crisp, but that is more a personal preference issue.
I used a small saucepan for the vinegar, brown sugar, and eggs. As you can see, I did not stir well enough. Beat with a whisk to prevent any "egg-iness" from developing.
After the saucepan mix boils, it froths up and lightens in color.
But then you combine. everything and get this delicious bacon, sauce, and bean mixture. And if you have the time, refrigerate overnight and then enjoy the next day. The overnight chilling gives the flavor profiles a really good chance to meld and mix and settle. So while this dish was very tasty right after I made it, I enjoyed it even more the next day.
I used canned green beans, but you can use fresh green beans. The recipe says after you cook bacon to drain the bacon grease, but you can keep a little in it for flavor. You can tailor this to your tastes in other ways, too by adding a little more salt, pepper, garlic powder, and soy sauce.
These beans will go great with your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey as a nice alternative to a typical green bean casserole. If you have leftovers, store the brown sugar green beans in an airtight container.
🍲 Additional Amish Bean Recipes
This is an amazing dish, similar to the above, but with a nice bacon-y flavor.
This is an amazing recipe from Ethridge, Tennessee.
I am always so intrigued with this recipe. You may be thinking, what does this have to do with beans? Well, it is fudge made from beans. The one time I made it, it was really, really good...it just didn't "set" like maybe it should have...it was, I think, too creamy, but I'd love to take another crack.
🖨️ Full Recipe
Sweet and Sour Green Beans
- 2 quarts green beans
- 5 slices of bacon fried, grease drained, and crumbled
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 2 eggs, well-beaten
- Heat the beans.
- Fry the bacon, drain, crumble, and set aside.
- In a saucepan, mix together sugar, vinegar, and eggs.
- Bring to a boil.
- Drain water off beans then and add sauce and bacon. Stir and serve