For the last few years we have included these pickled green beans in our holiday care package. We started making them because we had a bumper crop of beans one year, and we had eaten just about as many beans as was humanly possible. The funny thing is that these dilly beans were so good that we actually plant more beans now than we did then.
You can see the clothes lines I used this year as a trellis in this photo, they are in the upper left and lower right of the frame It was taken at the end of June (we were a little late getting them in the ground this year).
This photo was taken this week. The beans are in the upper left and lower right of the frame. We’re getting about two gallons a week (and one little white dog).
A lot of people are afraid of canning, and for good reason. We have all heard how dangerous it can be. I often look to the National Center for Home Food Preservation when I have any questions about safety. If you would like to try our Dillies, here’s how we make them, but be clean, and be careful when you do!
4 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
1/3 cup kosher salt
2 gallons of beans
3 jalapenos, cleaned of seeds and cut into eight strips each
One large head of dill, trimmed, cleaned, and separated into 8 equal bunches
16 garlic cloves, peeled
8 pint mason jars with rings and new lids (you can reuse rings, but never lids)
To make the pickling brine, bring the vinegar, water, salt, and garlic to a boil in a 4 quart pot. Boil the lids and rings in another pot, and sterilize the jars by boiling them, covered by water, in your canner. Again, National Center for Home Food Preservation is a great place to get guide lines for best practices.
While all that is going on, wash, and prep the beans by snapping the stem ends off and discarding them. Then snap the beans to a size that fits the jars. We save the left overs for dinner, or they could be frozen too. Once you have them all ready, and your jars have boiled for the appropriate amount of time, take one jar out. Pack the jar with one bunch of dill, two of the garlic cloves from the pickling brine, three jalapeno strips, and enough beans to fill the jar tightly, but be sure to leave 1/2 inch of headspace. Fill the jar with pickling brine, again, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Wipe the lip of the jar, then place a lid and screw a ring on the jar. Place it back in the canner and remove another, repeat the process till they are all done. Return to a boil and process for 10 minutes.