Anyone who has green or yellow beans growing in their garden knows that there’s no stopping them if you keep picking them on a regular basis.
I’ve been harvesting beans (both green and yellow) for about three weeks from one row that’s about 40 feet long, and there’s no end in sight. A friend, Penny Cieklinski of Grand Forks, told me earlier this week she picked two supermarket grocery bags full of beans in her garden plot one night.
A lot of people just eat their beans fresh, while others like to can them. Personally, I prefer blanching and freezing beans. Most of those are used in soups, so it really doesn’t make much sense to can them.
We do, however, like to can some pickled beans. It’s been a couple of years since we did some. The last effort produced more than a dozen quarts, which have lasted two years. We generally eat them only on special occasions. We’re down to one jar, however, so I’m comtemplating doing another batch soon.
And here’s the recipe that I will use. It’s from a 1990 Kerr Kitchen Cookbook, billed as a home canning and freezing guide. It contains numerous recipes for canning fresh fruits and vegetables, including pickles, relishes and juices.
Pickled Dilled Beans
4 to 5 pounds fresh green or yellow wax beans
8 to 16 heads fresh dill
8 cloves garlic (optional)
4 cups white vinegar (5 percent acidity)
4 cups water
½ cup canning salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Wash and trim ends from beans. Cut into 4-inch lengths. In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan, combine vinegar, water, pickling salt and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, in each hot pint jar, place 1 to 2 heads dills and 1 clove garlic. Firmly pack beans upright in jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Pour hot vinegar mixture into jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Carefully run a nonmetallic utensil down inside of jars to remove trapped air bubbles. Wipe jar tops and threads clean. Place hot lids on jars and screw bands on firmly Process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
Yield: 8 pints.