Donna's Old Town Cafe cooks Shuck Beans or 'Leather Britches'

In frontier days early settlers had no way of freezing or canning foods to preserve them through the winter. To preserve beans, they would use a needle and thread to string the beans so they could be hung up on porches or in sheds to dry.

As beans were needed during the winter, the beans were taken down, the string removed, and prepared for cooking by washing the beans and then soaking them overnight.

Soaking beans in water brings the beans back to life. The water was drained from the beans then day, fresh water was added along with a piece of meat (usually salt pork) for season and the beans were cooked for several hours.


Use large needle; tie large knot in end of string.

Be sure and remove strings from bean but do not break them.

Run needle through center of bean when stringing.

When string is full of beans, tie a loop in the end of the string and hang on the wall.

White half-runner bean is the preferred bean for this method of preservation.


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