Once again summer comes to Hickery Holler and along with it those long hot sticky days when you live for a cool glass of iced tea and some shade. Summer brings barbecues, grandkids in the kiddie pool, lightning bugs and popsicles all around. And just about this time come the long days of canning. Rising early and picking beans, corn or squash before the heat has a chance to build. Getting in a little morning watering. Then heading inside with your bounty of the day. Sometimes to can and sometimes just supper fare.
For us right now the crop of the day is green beans. Crisp and green in the early morning light.
Washed to cool them even more and then laid out on an old towel to dry in the cool of the kitchen under the ceiling fan. Once finished feeding up, on and off all day we will come through and sit and snap a dishpan full. Once finished for the day our afternoons and evenings spent rocking and visiting with each other, talking or maybe watching a movie while we finish snapping them all. In this case 4 five gallon buckets full.
Once snapped they are washed again and in this case put in the refrigerator in covered dishpans over night.
Early the next morning I set them out on the counter to come to room temperature while I do morning chores and then the canning begins. Jars sterilized, watered boiled, lids heated all before that first bean goes in. An age old craft taught to me as a young child by the two generations of farm women in my family that came before me. A connection to these women that has spanned my entire life.
Once the preparations are completed then the repitition of batch after batch of beans. Jars filled, salt added, then boiling water to cover, remove bubbles, clean rims and seal and process. Twenty five minutes at ten pounds pressure not counting the time for the pot to build steam and then cool down after the processing. Seven batches or 49 quarts of fresh crisp green beans. A little taste of summer through out the year.
And after all is said and done the kitchen table is laden with cooling jars.
And the counters by the stove are also home to more jars cooling. As I clean the kitchen and wash the dishes I ignore that ache in my lower back and feet from hours spent over a hot stove. I am serenaded by the ping of jar lids as they seal in the late hours of the night.
O Wise One sets the ends of the beans and culls by the back door to go to the compost bins tomorrow as the chickens don't much care for them. The beans are already reblooming and covered with another crop so we know in a couple weeks we will have to repeat this process all over again. But for tonight we go to bed content with a job well done and many more to go before the summer is over.
Thankfully tomorrow is Sunday! A day of rest and we are taking it. O Wise One is going fishing and I will rest as it should be. We will both give thanks for the blessings of this harvest and pray for rain and many more harvests to come ( and maybe the catfish to be biting).
And Monday morning early while you are all reading this I will be picking beets for the next wave of canning. O Wise One will be busy with the hay harvest which begins Monday morning also.
In the mean time if you would like to know more about canning green beans you can find my tutorial HERE
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter