Monday was a holiday here in Canada. I don’t think there is anything I love more than holiday Mondays. I don’t feel dread creeping in on Sunday evening, and who doesn’t like a three-day weekend? I mean, it’s not like I work a day job, but having Noah home for three days instead of two is pretty rad. I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish on the long weekend, and I didn’t get many of them done, but I did cross a few things off. Like becoming a canning addict.
One of my favourite drinks is a Caesar (double the vodka, light on the Tabasco), and as much as I like celery as a garnish, I like pickled beans better. I could also easily just sit there and eat an entire jar of beans, because they’re delicious. (Keep the olives away from me, though, especially the green ones. I never want to see a green olive ever again as long as I live.)(Never mind.)
I had planned to can the beans during the day, and picked a whole bunch that morning, but all of a sudden it was 10pm and I hadn’t gotten around to it yet. Not wanting to put it off till Tuesday, as there’s no way I’d be able to do it with nobody to keep Preston occupied, and not wanting the beans to wilt or anything, I dragged Noah out to the garden so I could get some dill and garlic. (I needed someone to hold the flashlight, okay? Also? Yes, I’m terrified of the dark.)
There’s something quite satisfying about using all home-grown ingredients. I so love my (poor neglected) garden.
2 lbs beans, trimmed (I used green ones, but any colour will do)
2½ cups white vinegar
2½ cups water
¼ cup kosher salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cloves garlic
4 heads dill weed (I never plant this stuff, it just somehow grows every year)
1. Boil/sterilize the jars and lids, about four of each, for 10 minutes (I just do it in the big canning pot).
2. Combine vinegar, water, and salt, and bring mixture to a boil.
3. Add ¼ tsp cayenne, 1 garlic clove, and 1 head dill weed to each jar. Pack beans lengthwise, leaving about a quarter inch headroom.
4. Pour boiling mixture over beans, leaving a quarter inch headroom.
5. Be sure to wipe jar rims, as they need to be clean to have a good seal.
6. Cover each jar with a sterile lid and secure lightly with a ring.
7. Lower the jars into the canner, making sure there is at least 1-2 inches of hot water covering them.
8. Cover pot, bring water to a gentle boil, and process for 10 minutes.
9. Remove jars from pot, and cool on a towel or rack. Allow the jars to cool for 24 hours in a draft-free environment.
10. Check that the jars have sealed. If you can push down on the lid and it springs back, the jar has not sealed. It can be re-processed with a new lid, or refrigerated and used soon.
Let beans sit for a week or two before eating, to let the flavours do their thing.