There is definitely a direct relationship between the infrequency of blog posts and the increase in harvest chores. The long wait between planting and harvest is over, and the battle against weeds, disease, bugs, rodents, groundhogs, deer, and rabbits has more than filled that gap. From Late July through the month of August and September the food gardener must be vigilant for daily changes in their crops. As you now know the cukes demand picking every day, as do the zucchini, cherry tomatoes and beans. Sometimes its hard to keep up with it all, and we end up gifting unsuspecting friends and neighbors with buckets of the produce we can’t eat ourselves.
Even harder, is to carve out the time neccessary to can produce during the height of the harvest season, and if I don’t physically write CAN on the calendar this week, I will miss a valuable opportunity. Sure, the freezer is an easier method, and one I have been using, but peaches and cucumbers and beans taste better canned or pickled I think. All of these are sitting in great piles on my kitchen counter right now, awaiting processing TODAY!
So before I get down to business, I hope to inspire you to go back out there, pick another basket of beans, and make this recipe. Just set aside 2 hours (if you’ve canned or pickled in the past) You will be rewarded come fall and winter, as Dilly Beans are an addictive treat you will want to put up every year.
Recipe from The Ball Blue Book
(makes 4 pints)
Equipment: canning pot, 4 washed canning jars,4 new lids, 4 screw bands
2 lbs green or yellow string beans
1/4 cup canning salt
2 1/2 cup white vinegar
2 1/2 cup water
4 cloves garlic
4 heads fresh dill
1 tsp cayenne pepper, divided 4 ways
Cut beans into lengths to fit pint jars. Into hot, scalded jars, add to each: 1 clove garlic, 1 head dill 1/4 tsp cayenne, then pack in the beans. Combine vinegar, salt and water in stainless steel or enamel pot and heat to boiling. Pour this liquid over beans, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Seal and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Test seals by unscrewing bands and lifting jar by the edges of the lid. if it pops off, put the jar into the fridge to be eaten soon. If the seal is tight, congrats! Display on your pantry shelf to be eaten later this year.