Sunday, July 28, 2013

Canning Green Beans (With Bonus Cat and Kid Pics)

This weekend, I have been up to my ears in green beans.  Ten hours after picking up a bushel of beans at our local roadside market, I was wore slick out and staring at 24 beautiful quarts of Blue Lake green beans.  That, my friends, is some good winter eatin'.

So, in case you have ever wondered about canning and preserving beans (and even if you haven't), here's a quick run-down on the process, complete with pictures (because what kind of blog post would this be without pictures! Gasp!)

First, buy or pick yourself a big bunch of green beans.  Then, elicit the help of your hubby to break all of those beans.  If the sun is shining, this is best done outdoors.  If it's rainy and wet like it was for me on Saturday, you'll have to complete this step whilst sitting on your couch and watching TV.

Next, you'll need to wash and rinse your jars, lids and bands.  I always sterilize my lids in boiling water, but that's just my personal preference.

Wash beans then add them to a large pan and cover with water. Heat them up until they start to change colors and turn darker.

Put 1 teaspoon of canning salt into each of your jars then fill them with the beans and water.  Beans need a 1-inch headspace due to expansion during the canning process, so make sure not to over-fill the jars.  Put on the lids and bands and you're ready to put the jars in your canner.

Put jars, canning rack and 3 quarts of hot water into the canner. Put the lid on the canner and heat on HIGH until a steady flow of steam can be seen coming from the vent pipe.  Let the steam escape for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, place the pressure regulator onto the vent pipe.  Green beans should be processed at 11 pounds of pressure for 25 minutes.  Adjust the heat throughout the process as necessary to maintain 11 pounds of pressure.

At the end of the processing time, remove the canner from the heat and let the pressure drop.  This will take a while.  DO NOT OPEN THE CANNER TOO SOON!  When the pressure has completely reduced, the overpressure plug will drop.  Remove the pressure regulator and allow the canner to cool for 10 more minutes before you remove the lid.

Remove the jars from the canner and sit them out to cool. When the jars are completely cooled down, test the seal, label, date and store in a cool, dry place.

Then, enjoy your hard work by eating some delicious green beans this winter!

There you have it.  Your step-by-step guide to canning and preserving green beans.

And, now, a cat picture, because I love this cute little kitty!

Also, a kid picture, because I haven't posted one in forever and they are growing like little weeds! (Spiderman cloth diaper fluffy butts are so presh!)

Have a fabulous week, y'all.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday's Love List #1

The Magnolia Pair

Linking up with Britt today at The Magnolia Pair to share with you some things I am loving this week!

1.  These gorgeous flowers in a pretty blue mason jar.  Seeing them on my table brightens my day.

2.  Fresh sweet corn in vintage Pyrex.  Enough said.

3.  My oh-so-comfy and incredibly hippie Birks.  The epitome of summer.  I love them!  Get a pair here.

4.  Today, I took the day off from work and did a little bit of thrifting/antique shopping.  It was so nice to have a stress-free day all to myself!  On the way home, I stopped at our local fruit market and got some goodies.  

5.  And, this picture was not taken this week, but I love this man of mine!  He is amazing and I am so blessed to be his wife.

What are you loving this week?  Have a wonderful weekend, friends!