Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Canning Green Beans

One of the many blessings of living in the country is having enough space to plant a large vegetable garden. While Angela was visiting, she got in on The Great Bean Canning Experiment. I call it an experiment, because you never know if all the jars are going to seal - or not.

A few baskets of beans and we were ready to go to the next step, snipping the ends. Angela washed the beans and snipped them. I cut them and got them ready for the canner.

I also washed out the inside of the canner and put in a couple quarts of water and a couple tablespoons of white vinegar. Then I turned the burner on medium and went back upstairs to sterilize the jars and get the rings and lids heated in water.

 I know it's a mess, but think of it as the look of progress.
And yes, that's an 8' x 10' map of the world on our kitchen wall. 
I remember telling the carpenters, 'I don't care how deep the pantry is, you just need to leave at least 10' for my map.'

Misty's favorite place to lie while I'm working in the kitchen is...yes, you guessed it...

I have an electric range in the basement, especially for the purpose of canning. I've heard from more than one source that ceramic stove tops (like mine, upstairs) can't take the prolonged heat of the canning project and are likely to crack.

Beans are put into sterilized jars, boiling water is poured over the beans, lids and rings are placed on and tightened, then the jars are carried to the basement and placed in the canner. Canner lid is secured and I wait while a steady stream of steam vents for 10 minutes.

Now I place the pressure regulator on and watch the gauge...pressure building...excitement building...pressure building...3 pounds...5 pounds...7 pounds...9 pounds...11 pounds. Set timer for 20 minutes (we're processing pints). Keep pressure at 11 pounds.


Drag out the crossword puzzle book and get busy. This is the longest 20 minutes ever!

Timer finally beeps. Turn stove off. LEAVE PRESSURE CANNER ALONE. Wait til pressure drops to ZERO, then take pressure regulator off, open canner, and carefully remove jars to a flat surface covered with a towel (I'm not sure why. I just do that.)  When they're cool, check to see that all the lids are slightly concave. That means they've sealed. If not, you have to get them into the refrig and plan on eating them in the next couple days. And there IS a limit to how many canned green beans I want to eat at once. Too bad they can't stay fresh on the vine in -40 degree temps.

When I canned 20 pints at a time, every jar sealed. The next time, I did only one layer of jars (10) and two didn't seal!  Who knows! Last night I canned 14 pints and all of them sealed!! Yea!

There's something very satisfying about preserving food, preparing ahead for the long, cold Wisconsin winter, knowing that when we run out of Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut, there are always green beans in the basement. :-)

While Angela was visiting, these two were my helpers.
Yesterday, only Misty and Bridger were here to help.

Do you preserve food? Canning? Freezing? Smoking? Don't get funny here!  Dehydrating?

This post is linked to Tempt my Tummy Tuesday
and Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods
and Tuesdays at the Table
and Tuesday Tag-Along


Ma What's 4 dinner said...

I've never done this, but I've always wanted to! Do you ship? :)

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

Unknown said...

Your green beans are lovely! I need to get into canning...my mom use to do it when we were younger. I loved it when she made apple butter!!

Kim said...

I can too! I just did a small batch of pickles last week. I don't have a pressure canner yet, so I have avoided green beans and other things that require the pressure. Tomatoes won't be ready for another few weeks out here, so I'll be canning those furiously here in a few weeks.

I used to can in my old place on my glass stovetop. I had no other choice, and even after the 40 minutes for the tomatoes it didn't crack. I used a huge granite pot too. Maybe I was just being risky..who knows. Anyway, have a great week!

partialemptynester said...

Reminds me of summers at my Grandma's! Such great memories of snappin those beans...I notice you "snip" yours while we "snapped" ours, lol!!

Denise said...

Those look delicious, love green beans.

Yenta Mary said...

Oh, I am SO impressed!!! I have a water bath, and used to use it for jams and pickles ... no time for that anymore, and I miss it. So I freeze cherries and jams and tomato sauce, but that doesn't provide the same sense of satisfaction. There is nothing like hearing the "pop" of a good seal ... :)

Jill said...

Great post! I just found a pressure cooker for canning at a yard sale for $13.00 hardly used, so you gave me insight on where to go next with it! :-) Thanks for sharing.

Kelley said...

Hi! I am a new follower via Tuesday Tag-Along. I enjoyed visiting your blog. I really need to get back to doing some canning. I look forward to your future posts. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Newest follower from Tuesday Tag-Along. I hope you can stop in and see me at www.hootiebee.blogspot.com

Unknown said...

WOW! Wouldn't it have just been easier to freeze them or better still just buy some at the grocery store?

Very Much a City Girl

Pup Fan said...

Thanks for stopping by... following you back!

Deborah said...

How nice that Angie could help you. Maybe she will go home and decide next year to put in a garden. So glad you had a nice visit with her. :)
(The photo of the beans looks so nice.)

the country cook said...

Canning is so much fun! I've never done it with a pressure cooker before. I've also never had one not seal...I wonder why you've had problems with it? So nice to be able to enjoy your own garden year round!

SomeGirl said...

Man, you get so much done and still have time to blog... I must be doing something wrong! Your green beans look GREAT, btw!

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Wow! That is a LOT of green beans canned! :D Awesome! I have done jams, but I haven't ever tried fruits/veggies.

Leah Beyer said...

I canned beans this summer too. I got together with a couple of gal pals in the middle of amish country. http://beyerbeware.blogspot.com/2010/07/beware-canning-beans-and-amish-peanut.html

Kim said...

Hi Judy!
Thanks for the comment on my blog. I read that about the acidity in tomatoes, and read that if you stick to heirlooms your in the clear. Before I left my garden (I moved to Colorado in June) I had planted a variety of heirlooms to can. Hopefully I can pick some up from an awesome local farm I found and get some canning done this year.

Hubs and I are looking to buy a house in the burbs, and a garden is a must have. So hopefully next year I'll be back to my regularly scheduled canning. :)

Nichole Carter said...

Do you do more on canning, it is something I want to get into but I don't know what I am doing. Help along would be great! Found you on Tasty Tuesday hope to see you around my place at some point. I am your newest follower.

Nichole @

Anna M. said...

Hi, Grandma!

Thanks for the comment. It was unexpected!

Just thought I'd let you know I have a new blog.


:-) LiveJournal was giving me problems, which is why I don't post as much anymore. I like blogspot a LOT better.

And thanks for the comment concerning my writing! It's nice to know you enjoy it.


Mama Hen said...

This is such a neat post! I don't can or preserve, but I would like to try to do something. I would like to make some jam and preserve that. This look slike a lot of work, but well worth it! Have a great day!

Mama Hen

Unknown said...

You have been BIZZZY!

Throw Open the Windows said...

very nice. It must be the season for canning. I put up pears and pear butter yesterday. It can be lots of work, but you are right about the rewarding feeling you get when your done (and when you hear all those little *pops* that say "I'm sealed") LOL! Thanks for sharing! Rebecca

Carly@Humble Housekeeping said...

Hi! Coming over from Girl Creative :) I've always wanted to start canning. It was on my to-do list this summer, but it didn't get done. I'm your newest follower!

Terrell said...

Oh gosh...how canned greenbeans are the BEST!!! Reminds me of when I was a little girl..we'd spend hours snapping them with my Granny on her porch swing!! Loved it!! I'm happy to be your newest follower of your delightful blog and I'd love to have you as a friend at Frou Frou Decor! I would also like to invite you to my weekly link party - Fabulous Friday Finds! I hope you stop by..it's tons of fun!
~Terrell @ Frou Frou Decor~

Unknown said...

Wow! You've certainly been busy! I'm hosting Canning Week on my blog starting Monday. I'd love to have you link up to our linky party. We will also be having a recipe contest. Hope to see you there!
New follower Jen @ messhalltobistro.blogspot.com


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