Snapping Green Beans and Breaking the Rules

Friends Drift Inn Farm – Real Life A Baby Boomer in Appalachia

Breaking Green Beans and all the Queen's Rules

I miss my father-in-law. We used to sit on the front porch and snap beans watching the coal trucks whiz by. He always cooked a big dinner. We canned using a water bath canner. Bourbon might not have been involved, but sometimes there was a swig of gin….or maybe just maybe something a little more local in a mason jar. As the evening cooled, we’d watch his grandchildren running through the yard chasing lightening bugs.

Queens Rules Violated – All Alone with a Bushel of Beans

In Joyce’s rule book, there are certain edicts that should not be violated unless you care to incur the wrath of the red hat. More than one of those rules involves beans.

  • Rule 20 Plant beans in a staggered schedule so that the harvest does not come in all at once. This stems from an episode early in our marriage when I was compelled to can 200 quarts of beans in three days without the benefit of a pressure canner.

  • Rule 21 Do not ask the queen to snap beans unless you promise to cook her meal complete with bourbon cocktails. If I am not fed, I get so involved I forget to feed myself. This results in a very disgruntled queen. Be afraid; be VERY afraid.

  • Rule 22 Snapping beans must be done as a communal project, preferably on a front porch in the cool of the evening.

Charlie Voice of Pikeville Colleg Bears

There have been violations of Rules 21 and Rules 22 at the big red barn. I feel like Goober shouting at Barnie Fife…..”Citizens A-rrest! Citizens A-rrrest!” everytime I look at my loving husband “Voice of the Pikeville College Bears.”

It’s really not his fault. Despite adhering to Rule 20, the beans have taken their sweet time coming in. They are late. “Late” meaning we now interrupt the gardening season for the football season.

Jake The Bearcat!

Nephew Jake, is a ten year old tight end. Parents, Mark and Anita aka “The garden help” are doting over blocks and tackles instead of heirloom green beans.

Husband Charlie, is a sportscaster and with the arrival of our local “Pike County Bowl” I have lost my partner until after the last ball bounces in Mid-March.

Mom is back home after a week’s visit. My Aunt Joan, who always adheres to Rule 21 is caring for her ailing daughter-in-law.

I’ve picked the beans. I am alone in the kitchen with nothing to eat but a bologna sandwich. It’s mid morning, and even with the air conditioning on the canners are putting off enough heat to compete with my hot flashes….or maybe they are just adding to them.


Pressure Canner Still in box

To heighten anxieties, there’s a brand new pressure canner that I bought last summer but was too chicken to try out. It’s staring me in the face and I swear it is taunting me. I may be afraid of it, but it better be afraid of me. I know a thing or two about throwing things out the window! Giggles

I’ve opened the pressure canner box, but flashbacks of my mother-in-law’s stories of exploding canners on popcorn ceilings keeps me from setting the thing on the stove.


The beans are snapped. I am NOT putting that pressure canner to the test. Charlie will have to be the brave one. It’s the price he must pay for being married to the queen.

Thank goodness, there’s no football on Wednesday nights.

More Beans and Real Life
Heirloom Beans Sando is Singing My Song
Jake and the Beanstalk; Greasy Grits Heirloom Beans
Cooking Heirloom Green Beans
Real Life in Appalachia
Heirloom Beans

About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.