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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Home Canned Kidney Beans, Dilly Beans and Potatoes

I was on a preserving marathon yesterday! The end result was worth it except I didn't get any tomatoes processed. The garden is laden with tomatoes so I'll be making an extra large batch as in about 20 quarts of my homemade spaghetti sauce with meat. I managed to freeze roasted acorn squash and two servings of left-over steak with sauteed mushrooms. On the canning front, I processed potatoes, kidney beans, green beans, and yellow beans.

Today, I picked up 15 lbs of mushrooms from the mushroom farm. Then I stopped at a bulk frozen foods place where I got a 10 lb box of hamburg patties. There are fourty 4 oz patties so that will need to be divided into meal size portions. My final stop was at the beekeeper's were I got a half gallon of fresh honey and some tulip bulbs. So check back in the next few days to see what I do with these goodies.

Home Canned Potatoes - Plain and with Chives

My local farmer's market has 50 lb bags of potatoes on sale for $7.99. These are wonderfully large potatoes so I re-stocked my potato bin and started planning what to do with the rest. Some will be frozen as side dishes. Both golden potato bake and fancy potatoes freeze well as will scalloped and twice baked. Some will be used in home canned soups. I have a potato soup recipe that I really want to can but I've always wanted to try canning just potatoes. So yesterday, I canned three pints of plain potatoes and four pints of potatoes with chives. They look good in the jars!

Canning potatoes is relatively simple. Wash then peel the potatoes. Wash again. Cut into cubes. Boil 10 minutes then pressure can 20 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure.

Dark Red Kidney Beans

We are not a bean family with the exception of kidney and baked beans. I like canning my own beans for a few reasons. One of the biggest reasons is taste followed by convenience. At 24 cents a jar for kidney beans, it does save money as well. That price is if I use bagged beans from the grocery store. I can cut costs further by buying the beans in bulk when I have a chance. The cheapest kidney beans tend to get here is 69 cents a can. Another thing I like about home canned kidney beans is I can omit the salt entirely and I can add a few spices to make seasoned beans for chili.

I think one of the things I enjoy about canning is I unlike tin cans, I can see what is in the jar. I label all my jars on the lid with a Sharpie marker as I don't like sticker type labels. This serves two purposes as it not only dates the jar but is a reminder the lid has been used so toss it. Now I might be a bit biased but I think dark red kidney beans look absolutely stunning in the jar. Also in the picture are the green and yellow beans.

Dilly Beans

Dilly beans are a nice pickle to have on hand and they look delightful in the jar. You can eat them as is or use in alcoholic drinks like a Bloody Mary. I generally make a few jars so was pleased that my dill heads were finally ready for picking. The beans are Romano from my garden.

I like this recipe because you can do as many jars as you want. Unlike the Ball Blue Book recipe there is no cayenne pepper included and cider vinegar is used instead of white vinegar. I think the cider vinegar adds a nice depth to the pickles. When using cider vinegar be sure to use Pure Apple Cider Vinegar that is 5% acetic acid by volume.

Dilly Beans

Do these one jar or more at a time. Increase brine proportion as needed.
(amounts are per pint)

2 cups green beans or wax beans
boiling water

1 head of dill
1/2 garlic clove
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 1/2 tsp coarse pickling salt

Place beans in large pot of boiling water. Return to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse in cold water.

Put 1 head of dill and 1 garlic clove into each hot sterilized pint jar. Pack with beans to within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of top.

In large saucepan, combine vinegar, water and salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Pour over beans to within 1/4 inch (6 mm) of top. Seal. [Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes for pints.]* Makes as many jars as you wish.

Source: Jean Pare, Company's Coming Preserves, 1994. Pp. 80

* The processing time was not given in the original recipe. These should be processed in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes according to the Ball Blue Book.

3 food lovers commented:

Zmajek said...

Hi, just stumbled on your website, google search rocks! :) How do you can beans? I'm just cooking a large amount and i'd really like to can my own beans ... i know the other option is freezing them, but i think canned beans will be more convenient for throwing sth together quickly when i don't have much time, so i would really appreciate your help. :)

Garden Gnome said...

Hi and thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you are enjoying it. The full method and processing times for canning dried beans is in the archives. Just search for canning beans. It should pull up dried beans, baked beans, green beans and wax beans all home canned as well as this post on dilly beans. You must process using a pressure canner as beans other than dilly beans cannot be safely canned using a boiling water bath canner (BWB). Dilly beans are pickled so can be processed using a BWB canner. There is information in the archives explaining the use of pressure canners and how they differ from pressure cookers but if you need any questions answered just leave a comment and I will answer as soon as I can.

Zmajek said...

Thank you! It seems i will have to freeze my big batch of beans and buy me that pressure canner. Now to poke around your blog some more and see what else i could do. :)