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Dilly Queens and Bathtub Beans

Posted by Lendy Hensley on

Sometimes I google when I should be doing other things. You know, work things. I am thinking about green beans, and the fact that they are going to arrive in the kitchen on Friday from Imperial’s Garden Farms, and we are about to go full-on Dilly with the first crop of fresh Northwest Green Beans. I get a little curious about the history of Dilly Beans, and then I see the headline: Dilly Queens.

Thirty minutes later, I am buying a subscription to the New Yorker so I can read an article from July 2, 1960.

Apparently, two school teachers, Sonya Hagna and Jacquelyn Park, who were born on the same day in 1934 and coincidentally met at Columbia University in 1952, fell in love (oops, I may have made that up). They got an apartment together and got busy… making Dilly Beans. The recipe belonged to Ms. Hagna’s mother, and the duo started making Dilly Beans in their bathtub, with the assistance of their students, whom they paid with a nightly dance party.

The girls moved from Jersey to DC figuring that if they could sell them in Washington, there'd be no stopping their Dilly Beans. (Cue the Dillytini with a pickled green bean swizzle stick, and the rest is food history.) For those of you who are dorks like us, here is a connection to the original articles. Unfortunately, the Dilly Queens seem to have disappeared after their initial success. If you happen to be sitting at work doing the googling thing, let us know what you find.

Bob, our Dilly King, asked that I make this clear: we don’t make our Dilly Beans in a bathtub. We save that for the gin.

Check out the link to the Times article here: https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1960/03/04/issue.html

 

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