Thursday, July 21, 2011

18 Quarts and Counting...

....of green beans.

The second harvest brought a bushel basket and a half of "Early Contenders" bush type beans yesterday. We took them to our processing facility (read: shady area of the yard) and went to work snapping them.

 I called in the child labor again. 

You snap the ends off of the bean and snap the remaining bean in one inch sections. Again, you dont have to drag out your tape measure for this...just ballpark it.

At the end of what seemed like forever....we came up with 3/4 of a bushel of prepared green beans.

You take the beans in the house and give them a nice bath and get them all good and clean. Grab you a big pot and get some water on to boil, you will need this just directly. Put the clean beans in prepared jars, add 1/2tsp of canning salt to each jar, I also add a generous 1/2tsp of savory (Get you some here: to each jar. Gives it extra yummyness.

By now, the water ought to be at a rolling boil. Grab you a ladle and fill each jar up to the headspace and then grab you a butterknife and start poking around in the jar. Your mission: Get those little air bubbles out of there! 
Now for me, I find that the hot water makes the beans relax and therefore reveals a bit more room in the jar, so I put more beans in. 

Look at everything and make sure that you have water where it belongs and everything looks kosher. 

Now you can wipe the top of the jar clean, put the lids and rings on and put them in the pressure canner at 10lbs for 25 min for quarts, and 20 mins for pints.  

Check out the dramatic change in color from pre-processing to post-processing!  

They are still very good just cooked now. 

My pressure cooker can only hold 7 quart jars, so getting all these canned took me 3 processing times. Factor in the silly notion that my family thought they had to eat supper, and the pressure cooker takes a half hour to heat up before I could start timing, and another half hour to cool down before I could take the lid off, and I didn't make it to bed till 3am. 

Yes, thats an all day job. But lookie what you come up with! 

18 Quart jars of yummy green beans. And you wont even remember all your hard labor back in the summer, when you crack one of these babies open in the dead of winter!!

Now we wait till the next pickin is ready. There are lots of buds on the plants, so it will be a while. The good thing is, it's the last pickin!!

Then we will have the final quart count of green beans from this years harvest.

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