Note to Readership: Rather than provide crystal clear, journalist-quality photographs, or magazine-quality “food porn” shots, the staff at Slow and Sew and her partner(s) are experimenting with artistic variety and time lapse in the documentation process. Please enjoy our latest efforts.*
C, author of Zig Zag, and my cohort in canning, became my partner in pickling this week. She’d gotten about 25 pounds of green and yellow beans, and wanted help making Dilly Beans, since her family likes pickles. I was happy to help, because cooking with C is fun, and I’d actually made dilly beans last summer with L, my “local Mom”, and they turned out well. Did I mention that dilly beans are EASY???? The recipe below, modified from one we found on cooks.com, is for 4 pints of dilly beans. We tripled this, to make about a dozen jars.
- water bath canning kettle with lid and rack
- jar gripper
- pint jars with new canning lids and rings (wide mouth ones make this easy)
- paring knife
- cutting board
- large bowls
- sauce pan
- large pot
- liquid and dry measuring cups
- spoon or spatula
- 2 pounds green beans (or mix of green and yellow), trimmed
- 4 cloves of garlic (or more)
- 4 heads of dill (or more)
- jalapeno chilies, cayenne peppers, or banana peppers (4 or more)
- 1/4 cup canning or pickling salt
- 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups water
For those of you who have not canned or pickled anything, here are two of your best friends:
Basic white vinegar is what provides the acid necessary for the preservation, as well as that tangy flavor.
As the label says, it’s Plain Salt, Nothing Added (no iodine, anti-caking agents, etc). This is your other pal in the preservation chemistry.
- Wash your jars in very hot water (if your dishwasher has a sterilizing rinse, this is a great feature) and soap to get them as clean as possible. For extra safety, you can boil them in water for five minutes.
- Trim the ends of your beans, and wash and drain them.
- Peel the garlic cloves
- Cut your chilis to suit (remove seeds, slice in pieces, or leave whole), depending on your tolerance for hot things.
- Put the salt, vinegar, and water in a pot to boil, so that the salt completely dissolves.
- Put the lids for your jars in water, and boil it.
- Stuff beans into the jars, with garlic cloves, chilis, and dill heads.
- Fill the jars with the salt/vinegar/water solution (aka a brine), leaving 1/4 inch head space in the jars.
- Put lids on jars, screw down the rings.
- Put sealed jars in the canning kettle with boiling water, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove jars (with tongs- they’re HOT!) and let them cool.
- Store jars in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks to allow the flavor to develop.
Here are some photos of our processing….
Really, this method does work. Take your garlic cloves, throw them in a bowl, and put another bowl the same size on top of it, rim to rim, and then shake it. Makes the papery stuff come right off. Also an opportunity to work on your maraca technique.
Here we’re adding the (HOT) lids to the jars, before processing.
* Yes, the dorks are still trying to figure out the camera, but it sounds so much better when we present it that way, doesn’t it? Who says engineers can’t do spin like marketeers?