No one can be sure why the colonial settlers called strung dried beans and pea pods "leather britches." Perhaps it was because of the weathered and pliable end product. Give to friends for gifts, or enjoy seeing them hanging in your own kitchen.
- About 6 cups green or yellow beans or pea pods
Pierce the beans or peas about one-third of the way from one end with a needle, then string them on clean heavy thread. Steam-blanch the beans or peas, string and all, for about 6 minutes, or until pliable and bright green in color. Blot dry with a clean dish towel.
Hang to dry in a warm, well-ventilated place. After drying, store them by hanging them under the eaves of the house, from the attic rafter, on a porch, or in your kitchen, if conditions permit.
PREPARATION TIP: If using green beans, do not dry in direct sunlight as they will lose all color. Vegetables need blanching before drying to set the color.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.
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