Fisher Egg Bean
(Phaseolus vulgaris); aka Egg Bean, All-in-One; Heirloom; Bush bean; Dual use: shelly and dry; Minimum 20 seeds
This versatile and productive bush bean with indigenous roots was first cultivated by Algonquian peoples before finding its way into European gardens and those of the Pennsylvania Dutch community. William Woys Weaver confirms this variety that was stewarded by the Fisher family is the same bean described by von Martens in 1869 as Eierbohn (Einbohn), or All-in-One Bean. Used as a shelly when very young, Fisher is traditionally grown as a dry bean and served prepared in hearty winter dishes such as Mrs. Higgins' classic cassoulet whose recipe appeared in the 1887 The Home Cook Book:
CANADIAN BAKED BEANS.
Boil the beans, until they begin to crack, with a pound or two of fat salt pork ; put the beans in the baking-pan ; score the pork across the top, and settle in the middle ; add two tablespoons of sugar or molasses, and bake in a moderate oven two hours ; they should be very moist when first put into the oven, or they will grow too dry in baking. Do not forget the sweetening if you want Yankee baked beans.