Frugalista writes about canning, gardening, food, crafts and preparedness with wit, experience and the goal of saving a few cents here and there.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Green Beans = Bad to Beautiful
Had a box of green beans given to me yesterday. I looked in the box and they weren't beautiful. Seems they were a last pick from a farm and were dirty, bruised, rusted and some were small and limp. I decided to save what could be saved and went to work. The beans filled two sinks. First the sinks were filled with water, beans were washed then the large colendar was filled. I cut the ends off the beans on the cutting board then cut them into bite size pieces. As I worked, I pulled out the bruised beans. They were still really dirty so once they were all cut up I put them back into the sink and soaked them again. By the end of the washing cutting and culling process, the pile had shrunk by half. The beans were raw packed in quart jars and topped off with boiling water. Salt was not added as we are trying not to be saltaholics. The beans stayed in the pressure cooker for 25 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised that the 14 quarts really looked pretty good when they were done and I was happy I spent the extra time culling out the bad beans.
I believe a quart jar will provide Tim and I enough beans for two days and we would use one jar a week. Since that will give us fresh canned beans for 14 weeks, we talked about getting another box which hopefully will be in better shape and generate more quart jars. It would be nice to have a years worth of fresh beans put away.
Two kinds of beans were planted in my garden this year but the deer nibbled them down every time they began to grow 6 inches high. I plan on planting three times as many beans next year and seeing if I can devise some sort of fencing to keep Bambi away. I love green beans and was so disapointed I could not can my own. I was really looking forward to the purple beans I planted and they were the ones that were the most attractive to the little deers
Tip: This time of year the fruit flies are out and swarming. A great tip to get rid of the little devils is to leave a jar or bowl of cider vinegar out on the counter (one can be seen in the green bean picture). The flies are attracted to the smell and land on the liquid and drown. I leave at least one out all through the season. Give it a try!!
You won't believe this! This is a true story that just happened. Just as I finished posting this I heard a noise in the back yard. I turned on the outside light and there were two deer! They just stood there looking at me saying "would you please just leave us alone we are here to eat your garden". I called my big bad mean mini dachshund Mister T to come and scare them away. I had my camera on the kitchen table and grabbed it and started snapping pictures in the dark. You can see Mister T under the canning table going after the deer and you can see the jars in the picures.
He barked and barked and the large one went after him and tried to stomp him with her hoof. I yelled and the deer kept coming towards Mister T. Then Mister T yelped. I reached down and picked up a handful of gravel and threw it at the deer and she turned and ran then jumped over the back fence. Poor Mister T. His hackles were up and he was growling. I was afraid the deer had actually stomped him and hurt him but he seems upset but fine. Now isn't that an odd coincidence since I was just typing about the deer eatting my green beans? I know ......my thoughts are powerful and I create my own reality. My heart is still beatting quickly but had to share this story.