As a kid growing up, “French-Cut” Green Beans came in a frozen cube.  Actually, pretty much all vegetables came in a frozen cube – or a can.  The freezer was always full of those 10 for a dollar Lady Lee boxes.  It was how you fed six kids on a fireman’s salary.

Come to think of it, the majority of the restaurants I worked at in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s served most of their vegetables from #10 cans.  Alice Waters wasn’t yet on the scene.

French-cut green beans were always a special occasion vegetable.  Definitely not your basic Tuesday night fare.  If mom was going to get really fancy, there might be some slivered almonds in them.  But more often than not, they were boiled, salted, and buttered.

I still eat frozen vegetables – ofttimes they’re fresher and more flavorful than stuff grown for shipping durability, but when they’re available, nothing beats a fresh French-cut green bean.  And they’re easy to prepare with the right little tool.

I’m not sure where we picked up the green bean frencher, but it’s one of those gadgets that sits in the drawer just minding its own business until I decide it needs to see the light of day.  There’s a variation of it on the top of a lot of vegetable peelers.

It’s brilliant in its simplicity… a bean gets fed into the little opening and hits about 5 razor blades.  Ya pull it through and you have a French-cut bean.  It only cuts one bean at a time but in a matter of minutes, I had a nice-sized pile.

I simply steamed the beans and added a pat of butter and some salt and pepper.  Very basic.  I wanted to taste the beans – not a lot of other stuff.

The beans set off a classic roast chicken.  Lemon and herbs d’Provence in the cavity, mashed potatoes and pan gravy.

There is enough chicken left over for a couple more meals…

I’m going to have to think of something fun for tomorrow…