Saturday, July 31, 2010

Calling All Green Beans!

Garden fresh green beans, cooked as Chef Kidlet Two would say "el dente" and then sprinkled with some salt is a meal in itself.
Kidlet Three and I have enjoyed green beans with our supper meal almost every day the past week. And we aren’t sick of them.

When I was growing up, we had a big garden. My parents grew green beans, carrots, onions, potatoes, ground cherries, raspberries, beets and probably more. I know it was a big garden because my brother and I were the elected weeders! Scooting on our bottoms we would carefully weed the beans so the flowers wouldn’t fall off. Flowers meant beans to us! It was a never-ending job keeping those weeds under control. Wow, that was a memory I hadn’t conjured up in a long time. Weeding the family garden. When I think of it now it wasn’t such a bad ordeal….

Back to green beans.

In my previous post, this summer has been the B-word summer. There was no time to plant a garden. Thankfully, my co-workers did have time to plant their gardens and it seems they over planted. Many co-workers have brought in bags of fresh lettuce, cucumbers and, drum roll please, green beans. I think I actually kissed the last co-worker that handed me a bag of Just-Picked-Green Beans. To her embarrassment but I was really, really, really, really happy to get more green beans!

This last bag of beans I decided to freeze. The thought of a big serving of bright green beans in the middle of a snowstorm this winter was almost too much joy to contain! If you have never frozen green beans, let me show you how.

1. Pull out your favorite cookbook that has instructions for freezing vegetables. You will want to see how many minutes you need to "blanch" the veggies. My Betty Crocker cookbook said 3 minutes for green beans.

2. Fill a stockpot with cold water and bring to a boil on your stove.

3. Wash green beans and cut into bite-sized pieces.
4. With water at a full boil, place green beans into stock pot. Cover and immediately start timing.
5. Fill a separate bowl with ice water (or very cold water).
6. After the boiling time has been met, drain the beans in a strainer.

7. Immediately place them in the cold water.

8. Keep the water cold so it may be necessary to strain the beans again as you refill the bowl with cold water.

9. Drain the beans.

10. I use the Food Saver food system to freeze food. After I took this picture I realized that I never really cleaned off the gummy-label-stuff on the top. Please believe me, that is no graw-doo.

11. I cut bags to the appropriate size and place the veggies in the bag to seal.

Winter…come on. I’m getting ready for you with some fresh veggies.

By the way, I’m calling out for more beans. If you have any garden produce that you are not going to use, let me know. I will try to contain my excitement if you hand me a bag of produce…

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