My Okie Gramma Willie served up simple great food and plenty of it whenever we would visit her ramshackle home in Bakersfield, California in the 50's and 60's. Fried chicken, black-eyed peas, home-made biscuits and gravy. The traditions of her table also influenced the food that went on my mother's table.
As I was preparing a Christmas dinner menu for Christmas 2008, I thought of my Gramma Willie's grean beans with bacon. So simple and about as far away from anything gourmet as you can get, yet they are so incredibly rich with a smoky flavor of bacon.
Gramma Willie's Green Beans with Bacon
6 cans of Blue Lake green beans
6 slices of baconsalt and pepper to taste
Open all the cans of green beans and dump the entire contents (yes, even the water) into a crock pot. Slice the bacon into chunks about 1-inch wide. Add into crock pot with beans. A few grinds of cracked black pepper and salt the beans to taste. Adjust seasoning after cooking. Turn crock pot on to low and let simmer for 10-14 hours. The longer the better! Beans will darken in color, mush down and bacon will cook through. Stir beans occasionally. Serves 8-10 as a side dish.
Yeah, I know it seems too simple, but remember that a lot of the best things in life are. Try it if you haven't. I think you'll love it.
Note: You can use fresh green beans, it just takes longer to cook them down. I have tried it and I still like the canned variety better for this recipe. Probably just my Okie genes! You can also add some sauted shallots or onions and you can also fry up the bacon before adding to the green beans. Options!