Roma Green Beans and Yukon Gold Potatoes


In the 1980s-90s, my husband and I had a little house on two acres in a rural area called Blue Jay on the Ohio/Indiana border.  He had a huge garden and I did everything I could to keep up with the produce while still working full time.  He planted way too much of everything but two vegetables I never tired of  were Roma Green Beans and Yukon Gold potatoes.  We had them several times a week during the summer and they were always delicious.  My husband and his wonderful garden are gone now and I miss him and the baskets of produce he would carry into the kitchen every day (I don’t miss having to find a way to use all of that bounty).

David pointing out the progress of the Roma Green Beans in his garden

Yukon Gold potatoes were new at that time but now they are in the supermarkets.  Roma Green Beans, however, are almost impossible to find but every Tuesday, my daughter and I go to a farm market in the historic section of Loveland, Ohio, where one farmer sells freshly picked, beautiful Roma beans.  These beans are flat like snap peas, but larger and fuller.


We buy the beans on Tuesday  and every Wednesday this summer have had a meal of Romas and Yukons plus a dessert made from whatever fruit looked good at the market.  It’s a special meal for us.

I prepare the meal in the early afternoon and put it together quickly at suppertime.  First, I put some Yukon potatoes (with skins) in cold water in a big steamer pan and place over medium high heat.


While the potatoes start to cook, I break the ends off the beans, break them in half and place them in a steamer which fits over the pot of potatoes.


I place a lid on top and steam the beans until fork tender.  By the time the beans are done, the potatoes are usually also fork tender and I remove everything to cool until I’m ready to prepare supper.

To combine the two vegetables, I cut the potatoes in bite-size portions and brown in butter, sprinkling with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.  When the potatoes are golden brown, I add the green beans with a little more salt/pepper and a couple of drizzles of olive oil.  Stir and toss the vegetables until everything is piping hot – then serve immediately.

My daughter doesn’t like onions, but I love sliced onions sautéed in olive oil while I’m steaming the beans and potatoes and used as a topping when the meal is served.


This week, we had some good corn-on-the cob and muffins made from fresh blueberries (recipe here).  A perfect summer meal.


Tart Cherry Pie


I always make the fruit pies I’ll serve on Thanksgiving well ahead of time.  When I was competing in county and state fairs, I found I could bake a fruit pie and freeze it.  Then the night before I needed it, I could take it out to thaw and the next morning crisp it in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes with basically no change in the original pie.  I had to do it this way for the Ohio State Fair because of time restrictions plus a 2-hour drive and I continued to win ribbons.  I’ve used the technique since the early 1980s to get a jump on holiday baking.

This morning, I baked two apple pies which will go in the freezer after they have cooled, and I was remembering other Thanksgiving pies I have made through the years.  For the 20 years we lived in Blue Jay on the Ohio/Indiana border, I had the benefits of a front yard full of fruit trees.  In July, there was one old tree that produced a huge amount of tart cherries.  These snapshots from 1991 show my son and his family who were visiting from St. Louis and helping me by picking some cherries.

picking cherries 1991_0001

picking cherries 1991_0002

The little girl with the pail graduated from college last year and the baby is now a sophomore in college.  Time flies.

I froze a lot of cherries but to have the very best pie for Thanksgiving, I made one while the cherries were fresh off the tree – my husband’s favorite.  Here’s the recipe:


  • Pastry for 9″ double crust pie
  • 4 cups fresh tart cherries, pitted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tblsp. quick tapioca
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 Tblsp. butter
  • 1 Tblsp. milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

In a large bowl, mix together the cherries, sugar, tapioca, salt, and almond extract.

Fit bottom crust in a 9″ pan, pour filling into crust and dot with butter.  Place top crust on pie, crimp edges and brush with milk.  Cut vents and place on a larger flat pan to catch spills.

Bake @ 375 degrees for approximately 45 minutes.

Cool pie completely on rack.  Serve to a hungry family or wrap and place in a two-gallon ziplock bag.  Place in the freezer until needed.  For best flavor, use within 6 months. 


I only wish I had one of those fresh cherry pies in the freezer for this Thanksgiving and my husband here to enjoy it.

A good piecrust recipe

My favorite apple pie recipe