Saturday, October 2, 2010

More Green Beans

Well, this is the last of the green beans, but this time we are freezing them. They can be put up quickly and they have great flavor. Besides, the pork is in the freezer and we know how much room is available for other garden goodies.

These green beans were grown at our good friend, Bob's garden. Bob is 81 years old and still manages an unbelievable garden every year. Anything Bob wants canned or frozen, we will help him put by and in trade we have beans free for the picking!

Then beans are snapped and trimmed. At this time of year they always seem to be in a variety of thickness, but bite sized pieces. There is no green bean too little to use especially at the last picking!

Garlic is added to the bean for flavor. It seems to make a big difference to have it in the water with the beans before freezing. Besides, is there really a thing called too much garlic?!

Onions and salt are also added to the beans before filling the pot with water. We use sea salt and there is no iodine in the salt. This type of salt is better for canning and freezing because it doesn't make the food limp or frumpy or less crunchy! The top of the beans were sprinkled with salt and that might have been 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt. I am planning to put a little bacon in these beans, so they won't need much salt now.

The beans and garlic and onion are set to simmer in the big pot. I let this batch cook for nearly 40 minutes. Beans can be blanched for 2 minutes or cooked for an hour before they are packed for the freezer and they will still taste great. The only time they can become waterlogged is when they are prepared in a casserole for the freezer and they haven't been properly drained or they haven't been cooked long enough.

Now the green beans are ready for the freezer. The original picking filled a two gallon bucket. We snapped them here and there for dinners and the rest went into the pot. BUT before they made it to the bag, we had a bowlful for lunch! So you can see there is still plenty of green beans for the freezer and for many happy gatherings on the farm. Thanks, Bob!

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