Friday, June 15, 2007

Blatant and Shameful Gloating

I should be embarrassed, but aren't my beans pretty? I like the yellow of the wax beans with the green of the dill. I've canned a lot of stuff, but this is the first time I have canned beans. I was always scared of botulism. Poisoning my family is not on my Top 10 List of things to do, so I have always frozen my green beans, yet I've never been satisfied with the texture after they've been frozen and that touch of freezer burn as they age is really off putting. So, I started asking around.

Last year a work friend of mine told me about the way she cans beans and I listened. Normally when you can beans you have to use a pressure cooker, but if you add the correct amounts vinegar and sugar to your water, pressure is not needed to maintain a bacteria free jar over time. My last whine before I was convinced was, "I don't want my beans to taste of sugar and vinegar." But if you pour off the liquid and rinse the beans before cooking, you don't have that problem. What you do have are crisp beans tasting of summer. I opened the jar Rachel gave me last night and they were the best one year old beans I have every had.

Rachel's Method of Canning Green Beans
2 gallons beans, snapped
1 gallon water
2 cups vinegar
1 cup sugar

Bring water, sugar, and vinegar to a boil. Throw in your beans and let boil for 30 minutes. Ladle hot beans and liquid in to hot, sterilized jars. Place lids. Let the jars enjoy a hot water bath. Remove them and listen for the pops.

Things to Know
  • You don't have to do two gallons at a time. You can 1/2, 1/4, or double the recipe.
  • Freshly picked beans will retain more flavor and crisp texture.
  • Make sure you remove all flawed pieces or beans.
  • You don't have to cook the beans as long as Rachel recommends, but you do need to cook them some.
  • You may add stuff to your jars for flavor or beauty or both. I added dill to the jars of wax beans and will add lemon slices to the jars of green beans for the sake of beauty. Garlic or chili peppers would be pretty too!
  • Never take a shortcut on jar sterilization. I sterilize my ladle too, because I'm my mother's child.
  • Never pour boiling liquid in a cold jar.
The possibilities are endless. Make something delicious and beautiful today.

8 comments:

JoVE said...

Hmmm. My only experience of canned beans is the commercial kind which I hate. So I was worried about vinegary beans, too. Maybe I'll try this when our beans are ripe. We've not mastered the right blanching time for freezing and they end up a bit mushy when we heat them up.

Any thoughts on canning peaches? Especially the use of honey in the liquid?

musemater said...

Truly lovely!

ZBTzahBTzoo said...

Beautiful!!!

Btw, I saw yellow and green patti pans in the supermarket today! Fresh (not at all fresh, really) from Guatemala! They were clearly past -- a bit of gray mold where the stems used to be. Otherwise, I would have brought some home and played with your recipe.

Drats!

wisteria said...

Jove, I usually freeze my peaches cobblers and eating, but I do know a spiced peach with honey. It has cinnamon sticks. The peaches are in here. I'll do a few jars and report.

Guatelmala!? That's a long way to go for something you have to give away here.

Kate in NJ said...

Thanks, I'm going to try this, I've
been too afraid of botulism myself.

Angela,MotherCrone said...

Thank you for this recipe! I will definitely have to try it. BTW, sugar vinegar beans are a favorite part of a cold three-bean salad that is popular with the PA Dutch up here!

audrey said...

I've always canned beans without the vinegar or sugar. Just salt and a water bath of 2 hours. Never had a problem. My mil did this too for decades with no trouble.

I also water bath can meat *gasp!* Yep. I'm a real rebel, eh? Truth is though, that it used to be the only method available and as long as you process it long enough, with the right chemistry, and everything seals properly, you're fine. Jars that don't seal go in the fridge and get eaten right away, but I usually don't have very many that fail to seal.

Iris said...

Hello, I've been intersted in learning to can. This doesn't sound to hard to do. I'm going to give this a try. Thank you so much for sharing this.