From The Desk Of Finn’s Motel: A Walk In The Garden Part 5 (Blue Lake Bush Beans And Golden Butterwax Beans)

Finn’s Motel mastermind/auteur Joe Thebeau gifted us in late 2006 with the amazing, out-of-nowhere Escape Velocity debut, a concept album about leaving behind the drudgery of cubicle life and suburban malaise for some greater, unknown existence. Even with the help (cough) of a January 2007 MAGNET profile, it took Thebeau nearly 11 years to finally follow it up with the outstanding new Jupiter Rex (Victory Over Gravity). Thebeau will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new Finn’s Motel feature.

Thebeau: I don’t know if I like to eat anything better than green beans and “new” potatoes. Your mileage may vary, but for my money, a chopped whole white onion sautéed in bacon is the foundation for making great beans and potatoes. I think they call them “new” potatoes because they were dug up early and are still small. But, it just means the little red potatoes (about two inches diameter). I don’t grow potatoes because I use slightly raised beds and I am not sure how I would dig them up without tearing my beds apart. I don’t think I could tell the difference between home grown and those in the store, anyway. But, the beans are a different story.

I’ve dedicated garden space for beans every year. And every year I have at least one row of Blue Lake Bush green beans. In past years I’ve experimented with pole beans as well as different colored varieties. Last year we had long purple pole beans that produced quite a bit. Strange thing was they turned green when you cooked them, so whatever novelty there was in their purple-ness was sort of lost by the time you served them. And, sure, they were about four times as long as regular green beans, but you have snap them down to bite-sized pieces eventually, so I may not mess with those in the future. Besides, this year I needed the overhead trellis space for the Brandywine tomatoes—yes they could very well grow to seven-to-eight-feet high—so I opted not to get any pole beans.

I put in the standard Blue Lake Bush beans, as always. But this year’s adventure in beans is a Golden Butterwax bean that probably sounds more exciting than it has proven to be, so far. The golden color is nice to look at, but they taste pretty much like the green beans. There is some of name’s promised waxiness, but thankfully, it isn’t all that waxy. I haven’t really noticed any butter flavor, but they are good. We’ve had two big pots of green and golden beans so far, and more are on the way. Some years we’ve had so many that we have to start giving them away or finding new and creative ways to prepare them. I’ve tried canning them in the past, but that process pretty much makes them taste like canned beans. As you might expect.

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