My first cooking job was at a small German diner on my hometown’s Main Street in Northern Minnesota. It was a hybridized place; we hand-pounded schnitzel cut from pigs the chef had raised, but we also served a dizzying number of filet-o-fish sandwiches. And when we ran out of green beans we opened up a jumbo can.
I remember a farmer knocking on the back door one day, carrying a lumpy paper grocery bag overflowing with fresh green beans. As the chef was shaking his head no, a few of us young cooks came up behind him and said, “We’ll clean them, chef!” The farmer, who was practically giving them away, handed them over. They were delicious, but the chef hated them because of the time it took his minions to top-and-tail their way through the bag.