Bean season for North Carolina is a short 6-8 weeks and is drawing to a close. So if you haven't had fresh butterbeans this summer, better hurry to your local market. Here's a few tips on cooking summertime beans and peas.
When Mama cooks butterbeans she flavors them with fatback. Chicken broth diluted with water works great, too. But if you're concerned about the sodium and fat content of flavoring the beans with meat products, you can use a vegetable broth. I recommend homemade stock because canned vegetable broth is really high in sodium. Still, another way to flavor butterbeans is to cook them in water, add a little salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of sugar per pint of beans. The sugar adds to the natural sweetness of the bean. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium for about 20-30 minutes. Add a little more water if the broth gets too low so beans don't burn.
C'ya at the market!