Time to start canning fresh garden vegetables

Published 2:55 am Wednesday, May 24, 2006

By By Carolyn Bivins
It's almost canning time!" "It's time to get your canning jars bought and washed!"
Those were a few remarks made by Thomas Griffin, of Atmore, when he visited the County Agent's Office this week. He came to purchase a copy of the Food Preservation in Alabama Cookbook (a real good bargain for only $7.00)
He went on to say that "It's prime time to buy canning jars NOW before they are all gone". He waited too late last year to purchase jars and missed out.
The retired teacher from Escambia County High School says he really enjoys tilling in the soil and already has banana, bell and jalapeno peppers and squash coming up in his garden.
Lois Nooney, of Mobile, called and requested a recipe. She said that with all the rain they have had lately – snap beans are pretty plentiful in her garden. Ms Nooney plans to pickle a few jars for her friends and love ones this year. Here are the two pickle bean recipes from the Food Preservation in Alabama Cookbook that I sent her. You might enjoy making them too.
The Food Preservation in Alabama Cookbook has recipes and all you want to know about canning, drying, freezing and making jams, jellies, and pickles. It can be purchased in Atmore at Central Farm Supply on Trammel Street and in Brewton at the Escambia County Agent's Office behind Southern Pine Electric Cooperative on Highway 31 South.
Pickle Dilled Beans
Makes about 8 pints
Use fresh beans, 5 to 6 inches long. Wash beans and trim ends. Cut beans to 4-inch lengths.
Raw Pack
In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, water, salt, and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil to make a pickling liquid. Place 1 to 2 dill heads and 1garlic clove in each jar. Place whole beans upright in jars, leaving a 1/ 2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process in a boiling water-bath canner. Pints, 5 minutes
Pickled Green Beans
Makes four pint jars
Sterilize canning jars. Wash, trim ends and cut beans into 4-inch pieces. Pack beans, lengthwise, into hot pint jars, leaving 1/ 2-inch head space. To each pint, add 1/ 4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 clove garlic, and 1dill head or 1 teaspoon dill seed. Combine remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Pour, boiling hot liquid over beans, leaving 1/ 2-inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids. Process 5 minutes in boiling water bath. Let beans stand for at least 2 weeks before tasting to allow the flavor to develop.
Carolyn Bivens is the Escambia County regional extension agent of human nutrition, diet and health.

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