I love our grocery store. Feeling green-bean deprived S. went to the produce section to pick up a few extra for freezing. he came back with this:

That sticker says the box contains 21lbs of green beans folk. Yikes.

Well, I figured we could freeze some, and make dilly beans out of the rest. Turns out to make a dent in the box we're going to have to make a sextupled dilly beans recipe. Needless to say, I needed to run to the grocery store to pick up some more ingredients....so we separated out enough beans for that -- 12lbs) and froze the rest.

We washed 'em, snapped 'em, and tossed 'em in boiling water (our instructions said to blanch for 2 minutes, so I timed it).

In boiling water.

Then we pulled them out of the water with a slotted spoon, and put them in a colander over ice. We also hit 'em with some more cold water to stop the cooking process. (They had turned nice and bright green in the boiling water)

Over ice.

Then we patted them dry on a dishtowel, before putting them in freezer bags.

We dried them briefly on a towel.

All in all, we have 4 and a half gallon bags of newly-frozen green beans.

The beans in the freezer.

And 12 more pounds waiting to be canned---that should make 12 quarts of dilly beans if the recipe goes as planned (we'll be using quarts since the green beans are so long--we would've had to break them in half in order to use pints). I'm excited, since I've never made or had dilly beans before---but I've heard good things about them. :-)


    On July 28, 2009 at 8:00 AM Anonymous said...

    What recipe do you use to can your beans? I have an overflow as well, and even though I have a huge freezer, I need to get into this canning of veg. Interesting that you blanched your beans before freezing - I never have! What do you find is the effect of blanching?


    Hey Livinginalocalzone: we haven't ever canned green beans before but we'll be using the recipe in the Ball Blue Book for dilly beans sometime this week (want to get it done before the beans go soft).

    As for blanching, I suppose I should run an experiment with blanching some and not others before I make any declarations as to its usefulness---but since we've been freezing produce that we had large quantities of, it's pretty easy to blanch and freeze it in batches (I think if we had a few peas coming in each day I'd probably just freeze them as they came in, without blanching). According to what I've read, the blanching halts the ripening/aging process better then simply freezing--it helps to preserve flavor, color and especially texture and sugar content.

    I can tell you that we used some of the blanched and frozen corn in quesadillas the other week, and it tasted as if we had just cut it off the cob minutes ago. Juicy and sweet and crunchy. Delicious.


    Oh! I forgot--depending on when we can squeeze in the dilly beans I'll post the recipe either this week or next--but I think it might be on the Ball website as well. Also there's some good info here: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/harvest/msg071124515148.html, and what looks like at least one copy of the same recipe that we'll be using. Except we're using quart jars--so will be using the 10min water bath processing time.

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