Homegrown Haricots and Borlotti Beans

The plants in the allotment are obviously slowing down and going to seed.  So is the gardener.  Autumn is rapidly approaching and I can't wait.  Fall is my favourite season with its generous harvest of fruits and vegetables and bright, beautiful foliage. 

We had more fresh beans than we could eat.  Some we enjoyed fresh from the plot, some were frozen, and some were shared with friends.  Still the bean plants are producing .... not as exuberantly as in high summer but there are still pods hanging on the vines.

I've decided to leave the French beans to dry on the vine.  Once the pods go brown and the seeds rattle inside, the beans are ready to pick and shell.  We called them Navy Beans when I was growing up in Missouri.  Here in Britain they are known as Haricots. No matter what you call them, they make a great addition to the pantry and take hardly any effort to prepare.

Just make sure the beans are completely dry, place them in a plastic bag and pop them into the freezer for a few days. This will kill off any creepy crawlies. Then store them in airtight containers in your pantry.  I love to put them in glass jars so I can see the colourful beans. 

These beautiful spotted beans are Borlotti beans.  They also dry beautifully and can be used in stews and soups just like the Navy beans.  So, if you have some beans hanging on the vine, you might like to try drying some too.