Yesterday we canned some green beans and I was torn to some degree. I had done a ton of research regarding green beans and the whole canning process. It was over-whelming to say the least. You see when my great grandmother or aunt would can them they would cook them just as if we were going to eat them once done. And we did eat a portion of them but the rest were canned , now the issue was that they put bacon in their green beans and the research and advice I was reading was to Not add bacon or if I did to cook the bacon first then add it to the blanched green beans. You see most recipes call for cooking them only for 5 mins. or to can them raw. But I know for a fact since my canner which is a PRESSURE CANNER came with a booklet as to what we could can , how long and the use of the canner , that meat can be canned and that includes pork. The main issue people were having was the fact many people who can don't process the meats long enough and botulism would set up in their food. Trust me when I say Botulism scares me to death , no pun intended. But I grew up eating them this way and half of the research I had done said it would be fine as long as I processed it for the proper time. I went back checked my booklet and proceeded to can my green beans. I cooked them just as my great grandmother had done and placed them in the canner. With the help of my booklet I processed for 75 mins now keep in mind processing time is KEY when canning meat. The time is based on the size of your jar. Well of course I messed up , I did the 75 minutes but with my nerves being out of whack out of fear I did in fact make a mistake. I should have processed for 90 mins. since I had canned Quarts not pints. I don't like wasting anything and I really don't like wasting food or time. But I want to be very clear on this it is not worth the lives of my family so I did in fact throw them out! Never ever take the chance , if for any reason you are unsure DON'T EAT IT!!! I would much rather take the loss of money and food then the loss of one of my children or husband. Now I will be remaking another batch this weekend and I will insure that I process the proper amount of time for the size jar I am using. Mistakes are what we learn from and so I am proud to share this story with you all. I would hate for anyone to make the same mistake or worse actually eat under processed food from a simple canning mistake. I still plan on canning as much as possible to insure I know what is in my family's food. To many foods have to many additives that I simple don't want my family eating let alone the fact it is over processed. And it is a simpler way of living that actually brings us closer as a family. My little girl helps with the snapping of the beans which allows us to sit and talk about anything she has on her mind. It is also relaxing to simply sit and snap beans :) So it is a stress reliever as well , that's if your not stressing as I was over the processing time..lol Of course live and learn is my motto. We are also in the process of building a compost pile which is good for the Earth. We live in Florida and the soil is very poor here so with the compost we plan on enriching our soil and growing our own veggies. You see it is a cycle in an effort to live a simpler life I am actually able to give back not only to my family but to the Earth as well.The recipe for my great grandmother's canned green beans is listed below.
Great Grandma's Canned Green Beans :
3 - 3 1/2 lbs. fresh green beans
1 Large Onion
3 to 4 Quart Jars
Snap off ends of the green beans and snap in half to about 1 inch pieces. This will make getting them into the jars much easier. Rinse and fill cook pot with water add seasonings , cut bacon in to 1 inch pieces and add to the beans. Heat to boiling and reduce heat to simmer for about an hour. While the beans are cooking clean your jars , lids and boil them for ten minutes. Turn off burner and let your jars / lids sit in the water until you are ready to fill them. Once finished with your jars go ahead and get your Pressure Canner ready , follow your canners instructions. Typically pints will process for 75 mins. and quarts 90 mins. This recipe is NOT for Steam Canners. And Please be sure to Follow your Pressure Canners Instructions. Fill Jars with 1 inch head space add green beans first and then your liquid , make sure to use a plastic spoon and move them around in the jar a little to get any air bubbles out. Proceed to process and remember to time properly. Last but not least Have Fun and enjoy the fact you are living simpler and healthier :)