So what do you do when your husband says that he is going to bring the beans in,
"So you can do something with them" he says,
and you are expecting just a bucketful because you have not been paying much attention to what is happening in the veg plot of late,
but, no, it was not a bucketful....
but two full crates.
Well, you try to smile but meanwhile you think,
"Crikey, oh crikey."
Now I hope you don't think that I was being negative,
because I wasn't,
it was just a sense of being overwhelmed by beans, that's all.
Not to worry,
Lester and me sat for an hour or so prepping them,
and another couple of hours the next day,
and then he left me to it.
So, I could:
1) Blanch, then freeze them.
But this would just put more bags in the freezers, which are full enough already.
2) Blanch, then dehydrate them.
Means that electricity has to be used for the dehydrator, but the beans will reduce in size and will therefore take up minimal storage when they are dried.
3) Can them,
which means using gas for the canner (about an hour's worth)
plus the canning lids which work out at about 60 centimes each.
I didn't count the cost of the jars because they are used over and over again.
It would seem the cheapest way to store the beans is by freezing them, but once the beans are dehydrated and/or canned there is no further ongoing cost for storage. Plus freezing them means bags and bags cluttering up freezers, which, as I say, are already full of meat.
So what did I do?
I canned twenty jars in all, at five jars per batch.
The beans look yellow here because of the flash on the camera.
The last five jars are just cooling down.
It is with a sense of almost reverence that I wiped those jars,
tested the seals, and put them on the larder shelves.
The sense of achievement was worth the effort of getting them there.
And so what to do with the rest of the beans...
these were blanched for three minutes, and the dehydrated over night...
They made two bags of dehydrated beans,
And then there was this big pot which had a huge piece of pork so big that it could hard fit into it.
I have been trying to get the freezers emptied,
but as fast as I do Lester has been filling them back up again with the rabbit harvest,
twenty in all.
Anyway, I this pot took a huge piece of pork,
which was so heavy I couldn't lift it.
Not to worry, it lightened up a bit once it was cooked,
and made three meals for immediate use,
four bags of mince at 400g each (into freezer)
four canned jars of roasted pork,
.... and also fed the dogs for two days,
with juicy bones for nibbling on in between.
And the two rottweiller girls behaving as if they are still puppies,
and wanting to climb up on Lester's lap at the same time.
We have been cooking here today, with very high temperatures,
Lester did go out into the field earlier and cut several wheelbarrows full of thistles.
I did mention to him that they are a herb,
but neither of us are much interested in pursuing anything more to do with that plant,
other than by cutting it down before it seeds more of itself everywhere.
He also managed to do ten wheelbarrows full of manure from the cow barn,
and these are being put in readiness for the climbing beans next year.
And he has just come in with a bucket full to the brim with small yellow plums.
So that's me busy for the next day or so!
Bye for now,