LeRoy Pennysaver & News - page 11

Jack and theBeanstalk
The first graders’ marigolds
were lookinga littleparched, so I
draggedout thehoseandbought
a new sprinkler and gave them
a good watering on Saturday. I
thought I’dbetterwater thebeans
and the herb garden, but didn’t
get the chance. No matter. The
heavens opened up today, and
everything got at least 3 inches
of rain.
Thebeans thatweplanted this
as Scarlet Runner beans. They
are pole beans so we put up a
“tee pee” for the beans to climb
on and they are reaching for the
top. We had some visitors ask
about the red flowered vine and
Iexplained that theywereScarlet
bean.Whichprompted theques-
tion about what is a bush bean.
Not all beans are the same.
I’ve shared the story about Cal-
vin Keeney and his beans. He
was the man from LeRoy who
developed a “stringless” bean.
In fact he developed several
varieties of stringless - - or snap
beans. His story and a descrip-
tionofhisbeansare included ina
book“BeansofNewYork.” His
beans were bush beans - - they
didn’t need to climbon a trellis.
Bush beans became popular
because they couldbeharvested
commercially. Scarlet Runner
beans,on theotherhand,need to
climb. In fact someof theScarlet
Runner beans can climb 15 feet
in the air. (They might be the
beans pictured in Jack and the
For the Indians, beans were
one of the “Three Sisters” of
corn, squash and beans. The
corn was planted, and beneath
the corn thebeanswereplanted,
so they could climb up the corn
stalksand thesquashgrewon the
groundandprotected theground
andheld themoisture.
Beans were “discovered”
in the Americas and taken to
Europe. Today, Scarlet Runner
beans are grown in the United
they are still a popular eating
bean inEurope. Thepods,when
very young are very good. The
beans can be eaten like Lima
beansandcanalsobedried. The
beautiful flowers can be added
to salads.
Scarlet Runner beans are
actually a perennial and in cer-
tain climates can be grown as a
perennial, but usually they are
grown as an annual. They are
also a type of bean, that when
planted, the “seed” (cotyledons)
stays in the ground. If yougrow
beans, youknow thatwhen they
begin to sprout, some varieties
push the cotyledons above the
ground, while the root grows
down into the earth.
Writtenmentionof theScarlet
Runner can be traced into the
1700s. It is included in seed
anHeirloomvegetable, theseeds
are readily available at garden
stores. Andbecause theyarenot
hybrids, you can save the seed
from thisyear toplant next year.
Thereare somegreat recipes for
both the young pods as well as
the large black beans. They are
great in soup and bean salads.
FrenchBeans toDress
Boil formore than twohours,
in twoquartsofwater,apoundof
the seedorbeansof scarlet run-
peeledorsliced,brown them ina
saucepan,withrathermore than
aquarterofapoundof freshbut-
ter; stir them constantly; strain
the water from the beans, and
mix them with the onions; add
a teaspoonful of pepper, some
salt, anda littlegravy. Let them
stew for tenminutes, and stir in
the beaten yolks of two
eggs, and a tablespoon
of vinegar. Serve them
hot. The Cook’s Own
Book 1833 p. 80
The storyof Jack and
the Beanstalk has early
origins in English folk-
lore and there aremany
different versions. One
of the earliest printed
versions of the story
dates to 1807, but the
story we are most ac-
quainted with dates to
the 1890s. In the 1920s
the Jell-O Company
commissioned a paint-
ingof Jackand theBean
Stalk. The original painting is
in theWoodwardMemorial Li-
brary. It was said that the giant
Jack is stealing a box of Jello not the
goose that laid the golden eggs.
Jack and theBeanstalk
in the painting is so scary, it
frightens the kids.
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