Last Minute Green Beans – and Pretending to Let Go



In the continual search for something green to add to our meals, this is a great quick and easy recipe that makes canned green beans delicious. I say this with


surprise because, until I made them this way, there was nothing more un-delicious to me than canned green beans. I usually only served green beans when I had time to fry up bacon and make them sweet and sour style. I was skeptical when my friend, Heather, told me this recipe was her son’s absolute favorite side dish, but I tried it. I have to say, it has become one of our favorite side dishes, too. This is handy because you can keep the ingredients on hand easily enough and whip it up at the last minute with very little thought. In fact, this recipe has shown up as a side dish in photographs on my Sticky Chicken Post and my Maple Glazed Pork Chops post. So if you were wondering what those green beans were, here ya go!

P.S. I really don’t fret over whether or not I have something green on every supper table. One of my favorite meal combinations includes sides of creamed corn, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and rolls! But we try to toss some green in there for good measure to keep all of our home economics teachers from rolling over in their graves. I have a home economics degree, so it’s my duty :)


But now onto a glimpse into my life today…

~Takes a deep breath and exhales~

Life is so incredibly full when you have a family. Full and busy. I enjoy it, though. Of course, we get pulled this way and that, which gets tiring at times, but it’s a fun little race we run to make it all work and we’re grateful for the two kids we have that give us a reason to run it.

Brady and Katy Rose back in the day

My kids are a pretty good bit apart in age, five and a half years, so we’re often going through very different phases with each of them. Having a teenager has been quite an adjustment (and I know the adjusting is going to last for at least a decade or so!). While he is gaining his independence, forming his work ethic, and categorizing the world into how he wants to interact with it as an adult, our youngest is enjoying the ability to read, playing dolls, and happy to be nestled in our laps every chance she gets.

It’s quite a contrast, but they’re quite the children :)

Katy Rose came home from school earlier this week all excited. “Mama! We’ve got big news. There is a chicken decorating contest at school..”

A chicken decorating contest? Umm, okay. I had never heard of such a thing but then I don’t reside in the ever progressing land of education so I just roll with these things.

“Really Katy Rose? A chicken decorating contest? Well that sounds like fun.”

She went on, her face aglow with excitement “Yes, my teacher gave us each a paper chicken and we have to decorate it with feathers and things. She said we can add anything we want, but we’re not supposed to just color it, we’re supposed to get creative and have lots of fun with it!”

“Well that sounds like a lot of fun, when is it due?”

She went on to tell me that it was due this Thursday before going into more detail about how she wants her chicken to look. I was still curious as to why they were decoarting a chicken and then she mentioned them being up to see everyone’s chicken by Thanksgiving. Aha!

“Katy Rose, do you think it might be a turkey that you’re decoarting instead of a chicken?”

She thought about it a moment and then nodded, “Well … that would make sense why everyone was making gobbling noises.”

Katy Rose

Oh how I love my girl.

This exchange took place at the end of a long day for me, when my heart really needed that little smile Katy delivered. You see, around 4:30 that morning, I’d said goodbye to my oldest as Brady set off to go on a class field trip for four days. It was a tough thing to do for me, but Brady was looking forward to it. At thirteen, he’d gone on field trips before, even extended ones, but one of us had always gone as a chaperone. This year, though, we just couldn’t make it work.

Weeks before, when I’d broken it to Brady that Daddy and I weren’t going on this trip, he’d not missed a beat as he responded “Well that’s cool. Don’t worry, we’ll have fun.”  Clearly, this wasn’t as difficult for him as it was me, so I did what any good parent would do and pretended that I was cool with it.

I was assured when one of my friends let me know she was going as chaperone on the trip and then to discover that Brady was going to get to room with one of his dear friends that we think the world of. So all was well. Everything was in place and all that was left was for him to get packed up and sent off.

That was the hard part. Releasing your child, at any stage in their life, is never easy. We have to raise them to be able to take care of themselves, to have the neccesary wisdom to make decisions, and to have guidelines for the kind of person they want to be in this world along with the knowledge of how to live that way. Even when we feel we’ve managed to do all of that, when we know in our heart of hearts that they’re good kids and that they’re going to go do good things in the world, part of us will always want to cling to them and make them stay in our little nest at the same time we’re watching the world open up for them.

“Hey Ma, I love ya and all that…”

But he’s thirteen.

I know he’ll be eighteen and thirty before I know it, believe me. I know this because he was two just yesterday, honest.

So I kinda let him go. I mean, for all intents and purposes, if you’da seen me, you would have thought that I did let him go, even Brady probably does.

I gave him one of those quick tight hugs you give thirteen year olds, kissed his cheek and let him go. I didn’t even drive him to school. I let his Daddy do that after Brady asked because “Ma, no offense, but you’ll wanna kiss on me and hug me and stuff in front of people. That’s okay to do at home and everything sometimes,but not at school.” So Ricky drove him, and I pretended to let him go.

He doesn’t know that I know the fastest route to get to where he is, have a full tank of gas, and a friend who can get Katy at a momen’s notice if the need arises for me to get to my baby. No one needs to know that. I mean, it’s just me being prepared :) And I’m always prepared.

I let him go, as far as anyone knows. I wonder about Mama birds that kick their babies out of he nest so they will learn to fly. I can’t imagine there isn’t really a daddy or MamaBird’s best friend somewhere on the ground, just out of sight, with a net or catcher’s mitt just in case. I think we all pretend a bit when it comes to our kids. We let them stretch their wings and learn to fly and pretend we’re not gnashing our teeth at the thought of them falling. Soemtimes we even let them fall because wisdom tells us that without falling down a time or two, they’ll never learn the value of getting up again.

So Brady isn’t here and that doesn’t feel right. It didn’t feel right the moment he walked out the front door and I sat down and held my breath. Five minutes later I was still sitting there, thinking about him when I got a phone call. My son’s ever deepening voice was on the other end.  “Hey Ma, just wanted you to know that I love ya and all that.” I breathed again at that point. “I love you too, baby. Have a good time.”

He’s been gone two days now and i’m getting the hang of this to an extent. At least until he comes home Thursday night, I’m pretending to let go. I know it will be good practice for me as I foresee a lot of pretending to let go in my future with these two.

Fortunately for me there is a distraction to help me this time, because it’s getting close to Thanksgiving and I’ve got a chicken to help decorate.

Now, time make some green beans.

You’ll need: diced tomatoes, french style green beans (regular green beans work just fine), salt, pepper, and an onion.

You can also use fresh tomato if you have it, Just dice it up an go for it.

Drain your green beans and dump them into a pot.

Say hello to your green beans because they’re being all sweet and posing for you. They look like they are seeking approval…

HELLO GREEN BEANS! You look mighty pretty today!

Add chopped onion, diced tomatoes (with juice), salt, and pepper.

Stirry stirry.

Cook over medium high heat until it just comes to a light boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Then, eat it.

You saw that coming, didn’t ya? :)


Last Minute Green Beans
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undraied
  • 2-14.5 ounce cans green beans, drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Place drained green beans in medium sauce pot. Add in chopped onion, tomatoes with juice, salt, and pepper. Stir.
  2. Place over medium high heat and bring just to a light boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 10-15 minutes.
  4. Serve.

If you pray for God to move a mountain, be prepared to wake up next to a shovel.

~Unknown. Submitted by Rick (thanks, Rick!)

“Chicken” Update!

We finished Katy Rose’s “chicken” last night in plenty of time for Thanksgiving. Here are some photos. As you can see, this turkey has some serious bedazzling going on! :)










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  1. Sheryle says

    Made these the other night with the “Deep Dish Sloppy Joes”. Tasty. However, they still need that bacon flavor! I bake a pound of bacon every two weeks or so. I strain and save the grease, crumble and freeze the bacon. Comes in very handy for bean recipes! So next time I will add some bacon and a tad bit of grease. After mixing the drained beans and undrained diced tomatoes, I will also stir in some Wylers Chicken bouillon granules for flavor into the tomato liquid. Taste for seasoning and add salt and fresh ground black pepper as needed. This is an excellent base recipe for designing for your own family tastes!

  2. Barbara Miller says

    i know this blog took place 3 yrs ago but I’m still crying over your sitting in that chair after Brady left with his Daddy. :'(
    i bet Katy Rose still has that snazzy turkey.
    the recipe for green beans is great. i also have a quick dress up recipe for “store bought” green beans you ought to try.
    2 cans of green beans, drained
    1 onion , peeled, cut in half and sliced thin……(or thin-ish for you Christy, lol)
    2-3 chicken bouillon cubes
    2 tsp olive oil
    1 can of water

    put all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil.
    cover, reduce heat to medium and cook at least 5 min.
    remove lid and turn up heat to return to boil and stir occasionally as liquid reduces and is almos gone completely. serve warm

  3. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Christy! Your comments (dialog) make me smile, laugh an cry! My kids are 36 and 32. I had my first at 30 by choice, but when they started school everyone thought I was their grandmother! And, trust me, I did not look it! It was simply the fact that most of their moms had kids at 16 or 18. I thought it was interesting and it did not stop me from attending all activities, be they physical or mental, and enjoying every minute!

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