Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Put 'em up
Yay for green beans! They are one of the plants that are doing the best this year in our garden. We have a row of bush beans as well as two rows of pole beans. This was our first year to grow pole beans, and I have found that I much rather prefer them. The beans stay cleaner than the bush beans since most of them are up off the ground hanging from the trellis. Clean beans translates into less work for me once I get them into the kitchen. And I rather like less work right now.
I usually freeze our green beans. Canning them pretty much cooks all the nutrition right out of them (which is why we eat our veggies) although I do like the taste of soft, salty canned beans. Also, freezing them takes less time than canning since canned green beans must be pressure canned.
This year in addition to freezing, I thought I would try some dilly beans. Yesterday, I made eight pints of garlicky dilly beans. From the smell of the brine, I think I'm going to love them. Very garlicky, very dilly, very vinegary. Yum. We love dill pickles, and I haven't been able to make any of those since our cucumbers flopped, so dill green beans will have to fill in that culinary gap for us. Oh, and dilly beans do not require pressure canning. They just require the regular ole' boiling water bath since they have such a high acidic content from the vinegar. I like that.
I used this recipe on this website. It's very easy to follow. If you've never canned anything before, you should go read this general article on canning first. The process of canning is pretty much the same from one type of food to the next so once you do it a few times, I imagine that you will probably feel pretty comfortable and confident. I started with this book (an older edition) way back twelve years ago when I started canning and found it to be simple yet informative enough to begin to feel confident when canning.
Right now, the dilly beans are waiting out their 24 hour "don't-touch-me" time period. Then they will be labeled and moved to the shelves of our can cellar. That's my favorite part. Lining the cellar shelves.