Monday, April 20, 2015

Pickled Snap Beans

April is such a busy month for a gardener.  It is the time to get the seeds into the ground and set out the plants bought at the garden centers or the ones that sprouted in pots created back in February.  In addition, trees and bushes need to be trimmed and the grass needs the first cutting.  Furthermore, the weeds need to be pulled and eventually the garden and the yard look presentable, at least for a short while, and it is to be enjoyed.

I go out of town for a few days and the snap beans were ready for the harvesting when I came back. Believe me, the beans were calling out to me. There is but so much I can do with snap beans:  I can't serve them with every meal, can I?  Nah. I decided to pickle the beans.

First thing was to wash the beans and snap the ends off.  I wanted to put the beans longways into a 1 pint jar because it makes it most attractive.  I also had beans that were snapped into smaller pieces.  I had about two very large handfuls of snap beans altogether that I put into 2 jars, rinsed in hot water.

The brine:  For 6 cups of brine, combine 5 cups vinegar (white or apple cider, doesn't matter) with 1 cup of water, add 1 tbs sea salt (not iodine).  Bring to a boil, reduce, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Or use 4 parts of white vinegar, 2 parts of water, 1 tbs sea salt, and a pinch of sugar.  Bring to boil, reduce, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Spice:  I love dill and I picked a few sprigs from my garden.  To spice it up, I added about 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, and I could not resist adding some coriander seeds into the jars.  Use what you have and what you like.

Water bath:  Cap the jars, but don't screw them on too tight.  I added water to my huge pot, put a towel down at the bottom, and added the jars with the water reaching about an inch above the jars.  I let it come to a boil, no hurry--I didn't want the jars to crack (my fear).  I reduced the boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes and let the jars cool down in the pot.

Check point:  When you press down on the caps and they don't budge, the jars are sealed, tighten the caps, store, and enjoy for later.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

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