Thursday, 21 November 2013

Green Beans and carrots.

I have preserved food in one form or another for about 30 years now. When my Mum first passed me on her Fowlers vacola preserver and her bottles(jars) I mainly did peaches, plums and apricots along with tomatoes. One year we grew a bumper crop of green beans and I preserved those too, the only problem was that to do green beans in the Fowlers vacola System you had to Water Bath them in a brine solution for about an hour and  then 48 hours later re-water bath them again for 45 minutes. The outcome was a very soft, very salty jar of beans.
We haven't grown a lot of beans over the last 20 years, just enough to eat fresh or freeze a few, but this year Brian has grown another lovely patch or three of green beans.
We picked three buckets full about two weeks ago and  took them up to the farm and pressure canned  them, great result.
We brought the canner home the other day as we knew we would have a lot of canning to do over the next couple of weeks before we get a chance to return to the farm.
Early  this morning he picked me another bucket of beans , and I prepared them  ready to can.
I also had  a heap of carrots left over from some soup I had been making(I had got the carrots on sale at Harris farm) I chopped them up two and was going to do half the canner  load of each.
Brian then suggested that it may be a good idea to mix the two in each jar. I agreed that this would be very practical, as there is just the two of us, it would be sensible to be just able to open one jar and have both vegetables.So I filled the jars half and half approximately  with the beans and carrots.I did not add any salt to mine but some people do, and I then filled  with water  leaving about 1 inch headspace, I then de-bubbled and adjusted the water levels in the jars.

I then wiped the rims with paper towel and white vinegar,placed on my lids that i had previously simmered in hot water and screwed on the rings finger tight.
After they were all lidded and ringed, I then put them in a double layer seperated by the rack into my pressure canner. Up at the farm I have a gas (propane) stove, but down here on the coast I have a flat glass topped stove  which I am unable to use as I have a  Big 930 AA canner and  it is not recommended  to use it on it.
So we have purchased a gas burner designed for cooking crabs and prawns ect, and decided to use our canner on that outside in a sheltered spot .
We found that this worked brilliantly, although we had to keep a fairly close watch on it to keep to the required 10lbs pressure. We  processed the bean /carrot mix to the carrot  times as they required the longest preserving time.After the  25 minutes had elapsed, we turned the gas off and allowed the canner to cool down, removed the weight, waited a few more minutes and removed the lid.
The result was 19 lovely colourful pints of green beans and carrots.
I have left the jars  on the towel on the bench to cool completely overnight, each one made that sweet ping to tell me that it has sealed and in the morning, I will remove the rings, check seals,wash the jars and rings and store the rings away for future use, label the jars and store them away  in my pantry.
It  always feels good to put a little away, These little jars will be a very handy item to have in my pantry. There is nothing better than  having your own home grown produce  on hand.
I am very tired as I type this, we have had a few very big days of canning, some of which will be included in another entry soon, and I am  nearly ready to call it a night,
So until we meet again,


  1. Hi Jane,

    That is some crop of beans. You have reminded me that I have not planted beans this year, so off I go tomorrow to see if I can find some, actually I think I have seeds in my seed box. I also need to get some more beetroot in.

    I so want one of those canners. I have one on watch on eBay. Your mix of carrots and beans look lovely :)

    1. Hi Tania, we were very lucky this time to have a great crop. You will never be sorry if you get a pressure canner, we use ours so much.