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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dilly Beans

Carmen's opinion of canning in 90+ degree weather. Hehe.
For the last several years, we've bought a 10 pound box of beans from Harmony Valley Farm. This year we canned 6 quart jars of dilly beans and froze the rest of the beans for fall and winter casseroles and soups.

Dilly beans are great accessories to a Bloody Mary and fabulous snacks for any time you're craving something salty.

4 pounds of green beans
8-16 heads of fresh dill
8 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup canning salt
4 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
hot pepper flakes -- optional (we used approx. 6 dried peppers' worth)

6 quart jars or 12 pint jars
jar grabber
large pot

The process is as follows:

1. Snap the ends off of the beans. (This is a fun step. My parents usually come over, and we gossip over wine while bean-snapping like crazy people. Now the chickens run around, scavenging for bean butts.)
2. Put beans into a sink full of water to get them clean. 
3. Sterilize quart jars and lids by placing them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Or if your dish washer has a sterilize cycle, use that.

4. Prepare the brine by combining salt, vinegar, dill, water, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.

5. Put the garlic, dill, and hot peppers (optional) into the steralized jars.

6. Tightly pack the beans into the jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space.

7. Pour brine over the beans, again leaving the 1/2-inch head space on the jar.

8. Put the lids on the jars.
9. Put the jars into the canner and process for five minutes - though depending on your altitude, times can vary.

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