Friday, May 13, 2011

Beans, Beans, Beans

OH MY GOSH, am I a glutton for punishment? I decided to do some home canning, green beans to be exact.

I found a local farmer that happen to have some green beans available. So, I met with him and bought some. Two bushels to be exact. I had done a little research on the the internet which told me that I could expect to get 10 to 13 quart jars of green beans from a bushel. I bought two dozen jars thinking that would be enough for the the two bushels.

So, I started washing the beans. My mom told me it would be best to wash them as I go. Now I am glad I listened to her.

Then, I took a comfy seat in my dad's old chair. Turned to something good on TV and settled in to string and snap the beans. It was an odd thing, I was dreading the work but instead I found it very therapeutic. Sitting there with all the beans was very good for my soul, almost spiritual. Maybe it is because I was sitting and forced to just take the time to sit awhile. I thought about my dad, since that was one of his favorite chairs to sit in. I thought about the past, the gardens I use to grow when I actually had a bit of land to plant. Thought about my relatives that have gone on to heaven, all the tons of vegetables that my aunts canned over their life time. Talked to my mom while I snapped beans, she offered to take some but I just didn't want her to have to do that tedious work, but was so thankful that I was able to question her about the things I had forgotten about canning. Talked to my youngest daughter who came in and chatted with me while she snapped a few bowls, a really nice talk between a mother and her daughter, between a daughter and her mom.

Then, two nights later, I have finally finished snapping all those beans. They are bagged in gallon size bags that I can stuff in the fridge if I need time to finish the canning. Which I am sure I will have to finish tomorrow.

Wednesday night, I had done one bushel and had canned 20 quarts.

Also, on Wednesday, I cooked up a batch of the family favorite homemade catsup, expecting to get about 4 pints, ended up with 7 pints. I will however have to make a note next time to double the spices. It has been years since I made it, had lost the cherished recipe, which I came across in the old cook book that I had posted earlier about. I take a short cut when I make this recipe and used canned tomato puree instead of boiling, peeling then cooking down fresh tomatoes. The puree is about twice the amount of the pulp mix that the recipe makes. Still tasted great, but just not quite as strong flavor as usual.

Thursday, I went back to the store to buy more boxes of quart jars, another 2 dozen to be exact. They are in the dishwasher getting sterilized as I take a little break to type this. Now it is time to get go start heating up the canner and sterilize the jar lids. However, at 10:00 pm I am thinking I should just wait until morning.

Yes, the bath has won out and the jars will wait until morning.


  1. Oh, I'm so impressed....and jealous. I've never canned anything in my life but only because I have no clue how to even start! Good for you! I've been so inspired and impressed with how you just roll up your sleeves and go for it, whether it's craft techniques, meal planning, cooking, cake decorating, or whatever. Keep it up... one of these days I'm going to get out of my self-imposed rut and do something your way!

  2. Dianna, Canning is much hard and hot work when you are doing it, but in the end it is all worthwhile!! Especially when you go shopping and see the prices ever increasing in the stores and the product is not near as good as home canned.
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