This year for Julia's birthday, one of the things the kids and I got her was a bean frencher. This past weekend we were able to try it out on some homegrown and local farmer's market green beans. The kids were very happy to help out, and Julia was amazed at how easy it was. It is a simple mechanism that slices up the green beans as you put them in from the top and turn the crank, very much like the old school pencil sharpeners that used to be on walls of classrooms.
It was a huge hit! The kids love eating french cut beans, and quickly ate every one we put on their plates. Now Julia is itching to get a pressure canner, so we can start canning our own french cut green beans, now that we'll also have more space to grow a larger quantity of green beans.