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Friday, August 25, 2006

The eccentric chick who happens to bake also happens to pickle things from time to time...

Dilly Beans being one of them. This is another food thing that I got from my mother. I remember her making pickles and dilly beans towards the end of summer when little pickling cucumbers, beautiful crisp green beans and heads upon heads of dill were available at the farmer's market. Unfortunately with this batch I had to use dried dill weed, as heads of dill were not available at the farmer's market and even fresh dill was non-existent at the grocery.

I just love the concept behind canning or pickling foods. Preserving summer's bounty to enjoy during the winter months when these foods were once not available. We don't have to worry much now about doing this, as we have our cardboard flavored tomatoes and other such produce offered to us year round at our grocery stores.

The recipe for the dilly beans is simple, as most good things should be.

Dilly Beans
2# green beans
4 heads dill
4 cloves garlic

Boil together:
1 t. cayenne
2 1/2 c vinegar
2 1/2 c water
1/4c canning salt

Sterilize 4 pint jars in hot water (along with the lids and rings).Pack beans in hot pint jars with dill and garlic. Pour boiling liquid over. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. If the jars don't seal after having sat out on a wooden cutting board or a towel for a few hours...just refrigerate them and eat as soon as you can.

The first photo is of the beans packed and ready to process on the right, and the beans after being processed on the left. It is a shame the colors fade with processing..but it must be done :).

This is a good project for weekends..Share the cleaning of the beans..sit outside and clean them down to size. Have one person pack the beans into the jars tightly while the other mans the liquid and processing. And then after they have sat in your pantry for a few weeks, crack a jar open and enjoy your own home made pickles. Yum.

Oh, P.S. I promise to be back to baking blogging next post...I have some lovely cupcakes I've made to share with you!

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