I come from a long line of picklers and canners. My Nana Butler was the queen of pickling. A good German, she knew that every healthy diet needed a pickled something or other. Every summer, she’d carefully save watermelon rinds and pickle them for later consumption. (As a side note, there is nothing that smells worse than someone pickling watermelon rinds. It was a odor that was guaranteed to send every kid in the house running outside for fresh air..)
One of the benefits of living on the Central Coast of California, is an abundance of ‘You Pick” farms and farmer’s markets. As a result, we have ready access to all sorts of produce that takes to pickling: cucumbers, mushrooms, peppers, okra and asparagus. Our garage has two shelves of pickled produce and like the good Germans who came before us, my husband and I eat them on regular basis. My kids, on the other hand are convinced I am canning for the zombie apocalypse.
My sister gave me a whole bag of beans this week and I’d thought I’d give making spicy picked string beans a go. Since I had some time before trotting off to the Saturday farmers market this morning, I started early. The following conversation ensued.
Son: “What smells upstairs?”
Me: “I’m making pickled string beans”
Son: “Mom, you know only insane people get up early and make pickles at 8:30 am. Do you have to do this so early? It really smells”.
One day, when he’s forced to eat store bought pickled produce he’ll appreciate being woken to the smell of spices and vinegar. Until then, I guess he’ll have to just head outside like I did as a kid so many years ago.
The following recipe is from Popsugar and makes one jar of pickled beans:
SPICY PICKLED STRING BEANS
5 ounces (about 18) green beans, washed and cut to fit height of the mason jar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup filtered water
4 dried red chile peppers, pierced once or twice ( I used some Thai peppers I had in stock)
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns and 1/4 teaspoon whole allspice berries
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
1-2 bay leaves
1-2 cloves of garlic, pounded once
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey
1. Cut the beans so that they will fit upright in a wide mouth mason jar. Sterilize the jar, a lid and a band in hot boiling water.
2. In a small pan, put all of the ingredients except the green beans. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes
3. Stack beans upright in the jar. Pour liquid over the beans using a canning funnel and leave about 1/4 room on the top. Remove all air bubbles from the jar. Wipe down the rim of the jar and place lid and band, screwing band firmly
4. Process jar in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove jar and cool. Store in a cool place for at least two weeks and refrigerate after opening It will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Enjoy and ignore all those snarky comments your offspring make…