A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


June 29, 2012

Summer Harvest Continues

     My baby steps into the world of home canning continues.  This last week, I was once again blessed with the gift of about 10 pounds of green beans.  While I'm learning, through my mistakes, about what works in my garden and what doesn't, I'm happy that others see fit to share their success.  I will try never to turn down free vegetables!


    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." 




   

10 comments:

  1. So happy for you! God is so good to give us the bountiful gifts from the garden. I have to remind myself of that when I am knee-deep in tomatoes, beans, etc., that have to be taken care of NOW. It is so nice, at the end of the summer, to sit back and see all the beautiful jars that promise good wholesome meals for our families. It makes all the hard work worthwhile. And just imagine how much easier it is for us than it was for our grandmothers who did the same things without the benefit of air conditioning! God bless you and yours.

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    1. Yes, our grandmothers would be so proud of us, wouldn't they? And the jars on my shelf are such a source of comfort and pride.

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  2. I too I'm learning to can my own food. I started my homesteading and prepping late in life but I'm making up for it now. The rows of jars in my pantry are adding up and it gives me a sense of accomplishment and a little security.

    Your jars of green beans and tomatoes are beautiful

    I'm so grateful to the Lord that I can still do the things I love even if it hurts a little more these days.

    Piute Patriot

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    1. I am so glad that I'm not the only one that hurts! Thank you for your encouragement!

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  3. You are doing fine, BR. I have canned for a number of years, and I still have boo-boo's and some failures. Its part of canning.
    I never turn down free produce or food, never. If I can't get to it, I either freeze it or dehydrate it till I can get to it.
    I have regained my fearfulness of the pressure canner, as years ago, when I was in jr high, I popped the top of an antiquated pressure canner in the school cafeteria's ceiling during home ec, and I had been afraid of them until a few years ago, when a couple of old hands at our local Ace Hardware very gently coaxed me into trying it and I took their advice and got over the fear, now I can do anything now.
    Enjoy the canning, and yes its work but SOOOO worth it.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. I know how you feel about the fear part ..... I couldn't believe how much easier it was than I thought it would be. As long as I follow the simple directions, everything has gone smoothly. I am so happy you've re-discovered the joy of canning!

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  4. This is my favorite post!! Your veggies look beautiful and the Dilly Beans sound amazing! What I love most here is your gratefulness. If we could all remember to be so grateful all throughout each day!

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    1. I just enjoy the colors of all the freshly canned food! And I am truly grateful for God's provision.

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  5. It looks like a beautiful job that you are doing. I am hoping to get a pressure cooker like that one so I can do the same, all I know is water bath canning. I know that it is very tedious, but when compared to store bought, there is no comparison. If you need cayenne peppers, I have found them to be the easiest of peppers to grow and they are quite prolific. I am also planning another move and because I will be at a cold climate I will simply go to the greenhouse and planters set up routine. When you grow your peppers, I usually pick them and give them a quick rinse, lay them on paper or netting and forget about them in the furnace room. When the are potato chip crunchy dry I just take off the stem and toss in the blender to sort of pulverize them but take note: Use gloves to handle, wear a mask or you will have the most clear sinuses on the planet, I know I did. Again they do not compare remotely to store bought. When there is too much I give it away in little jars for gifts. To save time with tomatoes, I just can the tomatoes and make whatever sauces I need later when making a meal, saves time. I have also done tomatoes in the freezer to use as needed. Gods bounty is everywhere, all we have to do is pay attention.

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    1. I love your suggestion about drying the cayenne peppers. How easy! I will definitely be trying your method. And I finally got smart about canning the tomatoes instead of slaving over spaghetti sauce (although I still did a few jars of that, too). But I like the versatility of having the canned tomatoes to do whatever strikes my fancy.

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