Saturday, August 28, 2010


My family loves beans, from Grandma's Chili to tacos to Baked Beans. Anything beany, we eat it, except maybe refried beans. Beans is a cheap food. So I thought I would try to do it cheaper still. I planted Horticultural dry beans in the garden. Very cheap and very simple or so I thought. We planted, they grew, we mulched, beans grew. The time has come (I think) to pick these wonderful, cheap beans. Well, these cheap, wonderful beans seem to be the messiest (because it rained), time consuming thing I ever planted. I, with a little help from my children, shelled beans til our thumbs got sore. And we still didn't get done. I thought beans were something that were dry and could wait til I had more time. Well, because not all beans will be in the same stage of drying out, my beans started to go bad. So yesterday, my brother and I shelled some more. They seemed never ending. We still did not get them all shelled. I decided I had better can the ones that were not as dry as some of them. So I put them in jars and into the canner. I had a little trouble with my pressure canner working properly, so to make a long story short, I finally had the canner going (after one jar broke) and set the timer. While the beans were cooking, my hubby wanted to take a walk, so we went giving my 14 year old instructions about it. We got back about 50 min. Later to the smell of burnt beans. I didn't know what I would find. It wasn't too bad, just most of the water was gone out of my canner and 2 out of 7 jars did not seal. So that brings me to the question- To bean or not to bean??


Gina said...

I, too, have wondered if growing dry beans was worth it when dried beans are so inexpensive. But I have learned a few tricks.

I wait until most of the beans are big, then go through once and pick everything. Some of the beans will be dry, and some "green" but as long as they are all mature, it is fine.

Then find someone with a pea sheller. It will save LOTS of sore fingers!

Since some of the beans are dry, they will rehydrate when canned. I fill the jars half full of beans and fill the rest of the way with water. After canning, you'll have a full jar of beans and surprisingly, they will all look the same, whether they were dry first or not!

Let me know if you try it! -And sorry for the long comment!

Frugal Pals said...

Thanks for the encourgement! I still have 3 more rows to pick, so maybe I'll try it again. I tried to get them shelled the second day, but the people didn't answer the phone. I did them last year (except I didn't have as many) and it seemed a piece of cake. This year is a different story!!


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