Remove the strings. The surest way to do that is to pare a thin strip from each edge of the pods. Many persons think this unnecessary; but the beans are much more delicate, and two or three strings are enough to spoil the whole dish. Lay a handful of the pods on a board with the ends even, and cut them all at once into inch pieces. Wash, and cook in boiling salted water from one to three hours, the time varying with different varieties of beans. Drain; season with butter, salt, and cream, and serve hot, or serve cold as a salad. When very young and tender, they may be cooked in just water enough to keep them from burning.
Wash, and cook in boiling water; always use soft water. Add salt after ten minutes, and boil until tender. Let the water boil nearly away, and serve without draining. Season with butter and salt. Lima beans and other white varieties are improved by adding ft little hot cream.