The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Canning Squash & Green Beans

The garden is starting to produce and we were looking for another new adventure in canning so we decided to can squash and green beans. We canned a whole five pints of green beans last year - for the very first time. This year we hope to do many more. We had plenty of yellow crookneck squash last summer that we made into relish. It is good, but you can only eat so much. So this summer we are canning plain squash. It will get very soft, but will be more versatile in it's use - casseroles, soups, breads, etc.

This is our first harvest large enough to fill the canner, even though it is not one vegetable. Pints of green beans need to be pressure canned for 20 minutes and squash for 25 minutes, both at 10 lbs. of pressure. So I am going to do both together for 25 minutes so I can fill the canner with 16 pints.

It was a rather crowded day in the kitchen with cheese drying and in the press, but it's that time of year.

I started off by cutting up the squash in about 1/2 inch chunks.

Next we snapped the green beans. Some of the larger ones had strings that we removed when we ran across them. They don't seem to make any difference when you cook them and eat them so we weren't worried about them. We are adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each pint jar. The cheese presses had to move to the table for a while so we could fill the jars.
We have water boiling to heat the jars and cover the vegetables once the jars are filled, the lids and rings are simmering and the canner is set up and ready to go.
 Fill each jar with green beans or squash leaving 1/2 inch head space. Cover with boiling water. Put on rings and lids and place in the canner. Process for 25 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure.

The evening sun was coming in the window as we were taking the jars out of the canner. Beautiful, huh?
We had a few green beans left and decided to add some squash to them and fill up the last jar. We ate this jar the next day just to see how everything turned out. The squash is very soft but tastes just fine - good, in fact. The beans are wonderful - good texture and more flavorful than the ones we get at the store - and we grew them. 

It is always amazing to us how much better homegrown tastes than store bought. We know our food is grown on ground that is fertile and natural. We use no chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. We do use barnyard and chicken yard, along with hay, and we do still buy commercial feed. So the least natural ingredients come from the feed our animals consume. But we're working on it. One step at a time. If we try to do too many things at once we become overwhelmed and everything grinds to a halt.

Take one more small step to becoming more self-sufficient, wherever you live, whatever your circumstances. Become comfortable with that step, then take another.....and another.......and another. And before you know it, you'll have come a long way. Enjoy the journey. The blessings to be had are innumerable and immeasurable.

Until next time - Fern

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