Leather Britches

aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. CanadaMarch 12, 2012

Which varieties of pole beans would make the best "Leather Britches", I just read an article on how to string and dry them so thought I would give it a go.

Annette

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
farmerdill

Kentucky Wonder was the bean of choice in Applachian for many years for leather britches/leather breeches/ shuck beans.Any large meaty bean pod is suitable.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 6:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
crnagora95(9)

I've used Kentucky Wonder and Lazy Housewife for britches, I used some Romano beans, and I didn't like the flavor as much as the other ones.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fusion_power

Turkey Craw is the standard of excellence for leather britches.

DarJones

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 9:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Thanks guys, I have Kentucky Wonder and Lazy housewife but I don't have Turkey Craw, I'll have to do something about that :).

Annette

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 10:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
crnagora95(9)

Annette, I have Turkey Craw seeds if you're interested.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 9:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pnbrown

I have never been clear if that term applies to totally dry, or late green shell-stage?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 8:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

pn, the article I read said to pick the beans when they are tender and "snappy". I though it would be fun to try this old time way of perserving beans. I won't do a whole lot just enough for a meal or two. Maybe someone else can chime with how they have done it.

Nick, sending you an email :).

Annette

Here is a link that might be useful: Leather Britches

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pnbrown

Annette, that article seems absurd to me. Drying snap green beans in hot humid weather (cause thats when one has lots of green beans)? Maybe I am way off but I don't think that author knew what leather britches are.

The Firefox series I remember talks about them, and I remember certainly they are a late fall thing, just not sure if they are strung up dead dry or with the pods and beans still just slightly green. I guess it must be a little soft otherwise one couldn't get a needle through them, right?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pnbrown

Well, maybe I am wrong, here is another piece implying that it is fresh snaps, though the author admits personal ignorance:

http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com/blind_pig_the_acorn/2009/08/how-to-make-leather-breeches-dried-green-beans.html

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 8:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pnbrown

here is another article, more plausible, as it says when the beans in the pods are mature, which is past "snap" stage:

http://www.cherokee-nc.com/index.php?page=91

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 8:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
farmerdill

Unfortunately I am old enough to have personal experience. They are dried snap beans. Dried before the shelly stage. In bygone days they were snapped into approximately approximately two inch pieces. Using a needle and thread ( Clarks #8 was the choice in my area) they were strung through the center with each consecutive piece at right angles ( crosswise) and hung in a smoke house or attic to dry. Lost color and were not that good but as my father liked to say, " beats snowballs in winter". For those of you with dehydrators, you can make a much better finished product. We ate dehydrated green beans when I was in the Navy back when. lot better than than the homemade leather britches.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 8:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fusion_power

Well, I'm not that old, but I remember making dried beans when I was a kid. You picked fresh snap beans just like the beans you would can. We always strung them up using a roll of cotton cord. My mother told of picking the strings out of fertilizer bags and washing them to use for stringing beans to dry. We made dry beans in the middle of the summer, the hotter, the faster they would dry.

DarJones

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pnbrown

Well, I'll be darned. So I never knew what leather britches really were.

Here is my question: why? If you have an excess of beans, and it's not a great way to preserve, and it's a lot of effort, why not just let them mature and dry for shell beans? Easier, better nutrition.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 7:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Well for me, curiosity is the reason I want to try them. I want to see for myself how these turn out, cooking with a ham hock and onions sounds kind of good.
I don't expect them to taste as good as fresh but I still want to try them. I have a dehydrator and may do a few in it for comparison but I also want to see how they turn out without using any of the modern conveniences.
I ate shellies for the first time last year, liked them a lot but snaps are still my favorite way of eating beans, as far as dried beans(seed) go I don't have the room to grow enough to be of any use. Besides's it's always good to know different ways of doing things, you never know when you might need the 'know how'.

Annette

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 11:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pnbrown

Actually your point about room doesn't make sense, from the point of view strictly as the easiest and most nutritious way to preserve; if you can spare the fresh snaps for months until winter then you can spare them until they are dry - just leave them on the plant. Not for nothing leaving the plant in the ground not only puts the maximum nutrition in the bean seed it also fixes the maximum amount of nitrogen into the roots for a following crop.

Dry beans are hard to beat.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 1:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fusion_power

I don't just eat dry beans, I also eat snap beans and shelly beans and dilly beans and even once in a while leather britches just because there is more than one way to eat a bean. Key to this discussion is that a bean plant will produce just so many beans and then it will quit growing and focus on maturing the beans it has set. If you pick the early beans for leather britches, you don't reduce the total crop, you increase it because the plant keeps setting new beans as long as you keep removing them.

I'm thinking maybe pnbrown should be left to dry on the plant, after all, "dry beans are hard to beat".

:D
:)

DarJones

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 2:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Well.... if I left them for dry beans I wouldn't have my snaps would I :).

In the last couple of years I have become more interested in the preservation of heirloom varieties then eating them, in fact some we only get a taste, leaving the rest for seed which I share with others. I grow up to 16 varieties each year in my small garden, I have to bag flowers or cover with remay in some cases which is a pain but...

The leather britches might be a one time thing, I'm only going to do enough for a meal or two, it doesn't hurt to know how even if you don't do it on a regular basis.

On the other hand if I was growing beans just to eat it would be growing only varieties that are known to be good as snaps and shellies and buy the dry beans which are inexpensive.

Annette

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 2:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pnbrown

True, the plant will be stimulated to produce more flowers when the early pods are removed. Whether a given plant produces more total calories and/or nutrition that way is less clear.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 8:15PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Storage System for Bean Collection
Hello, London Seedy Saturday was yesterday and besides...
LoboGothic
A roll call, who is still here and staying after the "upgrade"?
Harry are you still here? I hope so! You have always...
wertach zone 7-B SC
Stringless pole bean?
Hello, I would like to find a good pole bean that has...
cowabunga1
Beans and leafrollers
Several years ago I was growing Rattlesnake pole beans...
madabouteu
The Mayocoba Bean story
Have you heard of the controversy that evidently went...
ruthieg__tx
Sponsored Products
Miniature Lounge Chair & Ottoman by Vitra
$795.00 | Lumens
Treasure Deluxe Cluster Suspension
Lightology
Florence Style Loft Leather Loveseat in White
$749.00 | LexMod
Christopher Knight Home Johnstown Tufted Black Leather Recliner
Overstock.com
Thayer Coggin | Origami Lounge Chair
YLiving.com
Egg Footstool
Design Within Reach
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™