Do you feel the urge to prepare?
“Prepare for what?” you say.
Well…for winter, or a small disaster, or a possible economical collapse, (all possible and some probable) in other words, for the shit to hit the fan!
It seems this mood comes over me every fall, whether there is something dark and heavy looming on the horizon…or not.
Must be fall fever, saying goodbye to my beautiful garden, farewell summer sunshine and green grass, planning for a season or two of being cooped up inside. 😦
In any case, we, my good friend and I, decided to have a dried bean canning feast (she’s a canner as well), to make use of all those dried beans stored up from years before.
We filled clean pint jars with half a cup of beans, added a teaspoon of sea salt and apple cider vinegar each, then poured boiling water over top the beans to the neck of the jars and sealed each jar with a lid and ring.
And what do you know…
We were so busy chatting that I forgot to take pictures!
Anyhow, process the pints in a pressure canner for 75 minutes, (90 if you’re doing quarts).
It’s so easy, it just takes a bit of time to monitor the pressure canner to stay at the appropriate temperature.
By the way, you can preserve chickpeas in exactly the same manner, half a cup of dried chickpeas per pint, add salt and apple cider vinegar and fill the jar to the neck with boiling water and pressure can pints for 75 minutes, quarts for 90.
This year I preserved my chickpeas with chicken broth instead of water, and added a bay leaf, garlic and a bit of rosemary. Now I can serve this (as is) on the side of a simple meal or make tasty hummus.
Would you eat beans (or chickpeas) more often if they were ready to be used?
I know we do, my friend said the same goes for her.
Canned beans are still very cheap…but the cans they come in kind of bother me, all that aluminum and BPA, who needs it? You avoid those issues if you can in glass jars.
You can buy dried beans in bulk, or do what we do…grow them yourself!
Look at these beauties from the garden.
It’s very easy to grow beans, you plant the seed, water the seed, watch the seedling come up, water some more if it doesn’t rain and weed the row a couple of times. If you plant two rows side by side, in no time the plants will touch each other, fill out and the soil stays cool and covered, no more weeding. That’s about it, you won’t have to do anything to these beans again until they’re all dried up in their pods which happens around September, at which time you pick them, shell them and put them up for storage.
I love growing beans and usually add one more variety each year.
If you order or buy bean seeds for next summer be sure you get the open pollinated ones, they will stay true to type and you can easily save your own seed from year to year.
Beans are self fertile and will seldom cross with other varieties, making beans an easy and good choice for a beginner seed saver.
As soon as I harvest the dried beans I set aside 50 or more beans from each variety and seal them in a small envelope for next years’ planting.
Oh yes, already planning for next years’ garden. 🙂