Lima Beans

Lima beans are not good until they are full grown and have turned white. Shell, wash, cover with boiling water, and cook about one hour, or until tender. Let the water nearly evaporate, and add milk or cream thickened with a little flour. Season with salt to taste, boil up once, and serve. The thickening may be omitted, if preferred. Dry Lima beans are also excellent soaked overnight, then cooked slowly for several hours, and served with only a seasoning of salt. The prolonged, slow cooking adds much to their palatability.

Shelled Beans

Shell, wash, drop into boiling water sufficient to cover, and cook until tender. Let the water boil nearly away, and serve without draining. Season with thin cream, and salt if desired.

String Beans

Wash well in cold water. Remove the strong fibers, or strings, as they are called, by paring both edges with a sharp knife; few cooks do this thoroughly. Break off stems and points, carefully rejecting any imperfect or diseased pods. Lay a handful evenly on a board and cut them all at once into inch lengths. A better way, perhaps, is to break each separately with the fingers. Only tender beans can be thus broken, and any portions of the string remaining will be discovered in the breaking. Put in a porcelain or granite-ware kettle, cover with boiling water, and. cook from one to three hours, according to age and variety, testing frequently, as they should be removed from the kettle just as soon as done. When very young and tender, only water sufficient to keep them from burning will be needed. When done, add half a cup of thin cream for a quart of beans, and salt to taste. If the quantity of juice is considerable, thicken with a little flour.

Baked Beans

Pick over a quart of best white beans, and soak in cold water over night. Put them to cook in fresh water, and simmer gently till they are tender, but not broken. Let them be quite juicy when taken from the kettle. Season with salt and a teaspoonful of molasses. Put them in a deep crock in a slow oven. Let them bake two or three hours, or until they assume a reddish brown tinge, adding boiling water occasionally to prevent their becoming dry. Turn into a shallow dish, and brown nicely before sending to. the table.

Baked Beans No. 2

Prepare and cook as directed above, adding two tablespoonfuls of nut butter when ready to bake.

Stewed Beans

Soak a quart of white beans in water over night. In the morning, drain, turn hot water over them an inch deep or more, cover, and place on the range where they will only just simmer, adding boiling water if needed. When nearly tender, add salt to taste, a tablespoonful of sugar if desired, and half a cup of good sweet cream. Cook slowly an hour or more longer, but let them be full of juice when taken up, and never cooked down dry and mealy. They are also excellent prepared thus without the addition of cream.

Mashed Beans

Soak over night in cold water, a quart of nice white beans. When ready to cook, drain, put into boiling water, and boil till perfectly tender, and the water nearly evaporated. Take up, rub through a colander to remove the skins, season with salt and a half cup of cream or a tablespoonful of nut butter, put in a shallow pudding-dish, smooth the top with a spoon, and brown. If preferred, one-half bread crumbs may be used with the beans. The cream may be omitted if desired, and the salt added before the beans are put through the colander; then allow them to remain just as they fall from it, and brown. Half slices of lemon arranged upon the well-browned surface make a pretty as well as an appetizing dish.

Stewed Lima Beans

Put the beans into boiling water, and cook till tender, but not till they fall to pieces. Fresh beans should cook an hour or more, and dry ones require from two to three hours, unless previously soaked. They are much better to simmer slowly than to boil hard. They should be cooked nearly dry. Season with salt, and a cup of thin cream or rich milk to each pint of beans. Simmer for a few minutes after the cream is turned in. Should it happen that the beans become tender before the water is sufficiently evaporated, do not drain off the water, but thicken with a little flour. A little flour stirred in with the cream, even when the water is nearly evaporated, may be preferred by some, or the cream may be omitted entirely.