Friday, July 11, 2014

Canning Green Beans

Last week, we had a big green bean day. Several of us ladies got together at a friend's house to prepare six boxes of green beans for canning. Three boxes belonged to me and three belonged to another friend.

Here, some of the children are swimming in an old water
The children had a grand time playing and making big messes in the house as we ladies cut and snapped and cackled all day long.

Imagine my friend's surprise as she turned back her sheets and found green beans and chips in her bed that night! Bless her for letting us in her home!! :)

In the middle of us working our way through the mounds of bean, our blue berries arrived unexpectedly early! I have never been a big blueberry fan, but this blueberries are sooo good!

Despite having arrived at 9:30 that morning, I left after 7:00 with a ton of beans still left to be cut. My hand was killing me when I finally went to bed late that night. I had gotten so frustrated with the never-ending beans, I just stuffed everything into the refrigerator until the next day! Oh, goodness! Talk about being overwhelmed! I didn't know which way to turn!

I finally decided the next morning to start canning some beans while I finished cutting the rest. I am still finding green beans popping up in the most unexpected of places! After two full, long days of canning, I had a total of 68 quarts of green beans! Despite being exhausted that first day, what an absolute blessing!!!  Thankfully, my friend Mari had kept a few of my beans at her house to finish cutting. Imagine my surprise when I learned she had not only cut, but had canned them! She had another 16 quarts of my beans waiting on me at her house! What a double blessing!!! We won't mention how her prankster husband nearly gave me a heart attack when I went to pick them up!

If you have never canned green beans, they are very easy.

Pack your jars to one inch headspace with the beans.

Add 1 teaspoon of kosher or canning salt to one quart jar or 1/2 teaspoon to a pint jar of beans, if desired.

Fill the jars with boiling water or broth to one inch headspace.

Using a flat, non-metal utensil, remove the air bubbles. I just use the magnetic lid grabber.

Wipe the rim of the jar clean, and seal the jar with a two piece lid and ring.

Place the jar in the pressure canner with simmering water and repeat the process until the canner is full.

Process quarts for 25 minutes or pints for 20 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. Make sure to adjust the pressure for your altitude if needed.

*Follow USDA canning guidelines to ensure safety of all home-canned foods.

Until we meet again, may you be blessed!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Canned Beef Stew

We are gearing up to head back to Texas, where my husband works, in the next couple of days. My husband has requested that I bring some of the items I have canned or frozen this past year. I also wanted to take along some meals that were already done so that he could just heat and eat when the children and I return home, leaving him without a cook! :) This is one I know he will enjoy! This is an easy recipe to throw together and can to have quick meals at your disposal! It was the first time I had made this recipe. Next time, I would like to double it.

4 lbs. beef roast of your choice, cubed (I used chuck roast.)
3 c onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8 c carrots, sliced
3 c celery, chopped
12 c potatoes, peeled and chunked
12 c beef broth
1 t Kitchen Bouquet, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Makes about 8 quarts
Brown meat in a large pot. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are soft. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Ladle stew vegetables into jar leaving a one inch head space. Using the cooking broth, ladle the broth over the vegetables, leaving a one inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims clean, and close using two piece lids. Process quarts for 90 minutes and pints for 75 minutes at 10 psi. Make sure to adjust psi for your altitude.

Until we meet again, may you be blessed!