So I dumped several rounds of beans in my large kitchen sink, washed them, and sat and enjoyed a nice afternoon movie while I sorted through them. I snapped those that passed inspection and broke them into 2" pieces, ready to deposit in my pint-sized canning jars. I divided the beans into two groups; one for regular green beans, the other batch for Dilly Beans.
After pouring hot water over the first round, and adding a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, they were ready for the canner. That was easy!
While the first batch were in the pressure canner, I began preparing the Dilly Beans.
I have to admit, I've never tried these, but everyone raves over them, and I'm a sucker for trying something new. I made a brine of vinegar, water and canning salt. Then I dropped a clove of garlic into each jar, along with some dill seed, and creole seasoning. The canning recipe called for cayenne pepper, but I didn't have any, so I figured the purpose was to spice up the beans, so the Creole Seasoning should work ..... I hope!
When I finished, I ended up with 7 pints of regular green beans, and 7 pints of Dilly Beans. Not bad for an afternoon's work! But I must confess, I am still learning. I know that I am not packing my jars tight enough, although it seems I am stuffing and damaging the vegetables as I'm loading the jars. And I still have trouble remembering the step to run a spatula around the edges of the jar to get rid of excess air bubbles.
I'm not embarrassed to admit that I'm a novice and I welcome all comments to help me become a better canner. And I know this much .... I have more admiration and respect for my mother and grandmothers who canned all the time. It is a time-consuming and fatiguing endeavor. A day after I canned these beans, I was all day on my feet canning tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. I was exhausted after blanching and peeling over 50 pounds of tomatoes and then chopping onions, bell pepper, garlic, and dried herbs for the sauce.
As I was taking my tomato peelings out to the chickens (which I discovered LOVE them!) I had to chastise myself for even thinking of my tired feet. "Thank you, Lord, for this bounty of food", I whispered, and as I gazed upon my jars of beautiful, red tomatoes I was truly grateful. Between God, good friends, and gardens we will be eating well this winter.
Psalm 65:10-11 "You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, your carts overflow with abundance."