Canned goods: Hell, yeah

Aviva's guide booklet to preserving food

Aviva's guide booklet to preserving food

You’ve got to love this bold title for a pamphlet on canning and pickling, etc.

canning book

I think it’s charming, witty, and informative. But of course, I’m a little biased since it’s written by my daughter, Aviva.

Aviva makes Dilly Beans

Aviva came over one day and showed me how to make pickled green beans with dill, i.e. Dilly Beans.

freezer

I used to can a lot back in the old Earth Mother days, but now I’m lazier and just pack my freezer full of berries and other fruit, even jams that I don’t water-process.

The Dilly Beans are ready for the winter

The Dilly Beans are ready for the winter

Still, it’s nice to have some canned goods on the shelf in case the electricity goes out…..and they look good.

Here’s what Aviva writes about Hot Water Bath Canning:

This method is good for all acid foods. This means most fruits, pickles and jams. Other foods need to be heated to a higher temp. to kill all the bacteria in em, hotter than your stovetop will get.

To prepare your foods for canning, wash it well and remove bad spots. If you need to remove skins from tomatoes, peaches, garlic, etc., dip in boiling water for one minute. You can either can your food fresh or cooked a little bit. All food must be a solid mass in the jar–as little room for air as possible–that’s why we add liquid to a lot of the food: hot water, sugar syrup or a vinegar brine.

First, get yer big pot of water boiling. Use the biggest pot you have (wider is better than tall) If you can, get a canning rack to put in your pot & keep the jars from rattling together & breaking. Put a lid on the pot and turn the stove on high.

Wash & sterilize the jars. Then heat them up so they don’t go into shock when they’re in hot water. Do this by pouring hot water in them or put hot jam or liquid (food). Simultaneously sterilize the lids by putting them in a small pot of boiling water. Once you have your food in a jar, fill the hot liquid up to 1/4″ below the top of the jar–making sure all the food is covered. Then wipe off the rim of the jar with a damp towel and put the sterilized lid on. Screw the jar ring on tight and place in the pot of water. When the water is at a steady boil, begin timing. Process for an appropriate amount of minutes and then remove from pot with tongs and place on a towel for 12 undisturbed hours.

I’ll add that the lid should sort of pop inward, creating a vacuum. Also, you can buy canning jars, rings and sealable lids in most any grocery (you can often find jars at rummage sales, and just buy new lids and rings). And Aviva and I found a nifty way of storing the rings: you just thread them onto a length of string (ribbon or whatnot) and hang from a nail or peg.

Okay, now that we got all that out of the way, here’s a recipe for Dilly Beans:

DILLY BEANS

2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
8 sprigs fresh dill weed

4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups white vinegar

2 1/2 cups water

1. Cut green beans to fit inside pint canning jars. Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil, and have ready a large bowl of ice water nearby.

2. Blanch the green beans to help them keep their color, by cooking them in the boiling water for one minute. Plunge beans in ice water to cool; then drain

3. Pack the beans into four hot, sterilized pint jars. Place 1 clove garlic and 2 sprigs dill weed in each jar, against the glass. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to each jar.

4. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring vinegar and water to a boil. Pour over beans until it reaches ¼” below the top of the jar.

5. Seal the jars with lids and rings and process for 10 minutes in a large pot of boiling water, making sure that the water covers the jars completely.

Blackbird Pie, print on back of “Canned goods, hell yeah”
Print on back of "Canned goods, hell yeah"
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Filed under fall, fruit, Praise for other cooks, summer, Uncategorized, vegetables

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