Thursday, October 29, 2009

Preserving the Harvest - Canning Workshop!

Last week, Sarah Garlington taught us the basics of water bath canning in Myles Kitchen. In water bath canning (which is not the same as fermentation), the contents need to be acidic- naturally or by the addition of vinegar. This method can be used to process fruits, pickles, relishes, and jams and jellies, preserving them for year(s)!
Slow Foodies participated in all steps of the process, including preparation of the food (produce to be canned should be firm), preparing the brine, and sterilizing the jars.

Our Recipe: Pickled Green Beans
Produces 6 half pints

  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch fresh dill weed (or dried)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh peppers (or cayenne)
  1. Trim the green bean ends.
  2. Chop the garlic, dill, and peppers.
  3. Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil.
  4. Divide the spices up into each jar equally.
  5. Fit as many green beans in each jar as you can.
  6. Pour over the hot liquid.
  7. Seal the jars.
Recipe courtesy of Sarah Garlington

Preparing the jars for the beans. "We're going to take a spoonful of the pepper garlic mix and then a spoonful of the dill and we're just going to spread it out throughout the jars."

Using the big boilers. Jars should be placed on a rack, steamer, or something similar in the pot, because of the high heat of the stove. "It's just a matter of the jars not touching the bottom of the pot and not touching each other. Um, so anything that you can figure out."

Several of the jars were processed at the demo, and individuals were each able to take a jar to take home to process on their own. Ready to start pickling? Read Sarah's post on the Persian pickle Torshi on the Boston Localvores' blog, and learn more about water bath canning from the Virginia Cooperative Extension.

No comments: