Today I decided to try out my new pressure canner. I went to the farmers market and bought some fresh green beans.
I sat and started pinching off the ends of the green beans and I couldn't believe how quiet it was - no tv, no radio, nothing. It was quite relaxing and I couldn't help but think about how our grandmothers worked so hard preparing food for us. They couldn't go down to their local grocery store and purchase a can of green beans.
Yes, it might have been hard work for them, but I think that by not having the distractions of tv, radio, cell phones, Ipads, video games, etc. families were so much closer. As I snapped beans today I imagined several family members talking, and laughing together.
This led me to call my son Jonah upstairs.............When he came up I explained what I was doing. He said, "Oh. Anything else?" I asked him if he wanted to learn how to can green beans. His response, "Not really." I explained that it was a great time for us to spend some time together, not being distracted by everything. He said, "Mom, can I go back downstairs? I'm right in the middle of something."
Time for Plan B.................
I made him unload the dishwasher while I snapped the beans! I got my time together anyway!
Anyway, to snap the beans, I snipped off both ends and snapped them into small pieces. Once I was finished I rinsed the beans very good.
While I was snapping the beans I had my pressure cooker on the stove ready to go. I had another large pot of water boiling and I had the mason jars in the dishwasher sterilizing.
When the jars were ready I put beans in the jars.
I filled each jar with boiling water and added a teaspoon of pickling salt.
And then I used a plastic tool to move the beans around to get rid of any air pockets.
At this point I put the lids and rims into the hot water. I removed them and placed them directly on the jars. I put 3 quarts of boiling water into the pressure canner and placed the jars inside.
I put the lid on the top of the canner and turned the heat on high. At this point, pressure is building inside the canner. I made sure that my pressure valve was set for 10 pounds pressure. When steam started to escape from the vent on the lid, I put the pressure valve on the vent.
Note: processing time does not start until enough pressure has built up. You will know there is enough pressure when the air vent is up and in a locked position AND the pressure valve has started to rock. That is when to start your processing time.
Green beans take 20 minutes to process. When the processing time is up, simply remove the canner from the burner and let the pressure go down by itself. When the air vent is down it means there is no longer pressure and you can safely remove the lid. Remember, it will still be hot and steam will escape so open the lid carefully!
Allow the jars to sit overnight. As they cool the jars will seal. In the morning, check to make sure the seal is tight. To do this, press on the middle of the lid. If it gives then the jar did not seal properly. These jars need to be refrigerated and used soon. Otherwise, store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place.