Elizabeth’s Blue Ribbon Dilly Beans

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adapted by Elizabeth Howse from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Makes 6 pints

* 3 Tbs kosher, pickling, or canning salt
* 3 Cups white vinegar
* 3 Cups water
* about 4 lbs Farmer Dave’s beans, green, wax, or a mix, trimmed
* 3 small red bell peppers, seeded and sliced into thin strips
* 18 whole black peppercorns
* 3 tsp dill weed, (or 6 dill sprigs if farmer dave grows dill)
* 6 cloves garlic

Prepare canner, jars and lids.

In a large stainless saucepan, combine salt, vinegar, and water. Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve salt. Add beans and pepper strips, return to boil, remove from heat.

Place 3 peppercorns, 1/2 tsp dill weed (or one sprig) and 1 clove garlic in
each hot pint jar. Pack beans and pepper strips to 1/2 inch to top of jar.
Ladle hot pickling liquid to 1/2 inch from top of jar. Remove air bubbles
and add more pickling liquid if necessary to maintain 1/2 inch headspace.
wipe rims of jars, center lids and tighten screwbands until finger-tip
tight. (If you choose to stop here and not can them, they will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months). For best flavor, wait at least a week before opening them.

Place jars in canner ensuring they are completely covered with water, bring to boil and process ten minutes. Remove lid from canner, and turn off heat, and wait five minutes. Remove jars and let cool in a draft free place. For best flavor, wait at least a week before opening them. Canned, they will keep at room temperature for up to a year.