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Thursday, August 12, 2010

How to Get Even Hotter on a Really Hot Day or Canning Day - Part 1

I got a big surprise last night - a load of green beans and elderberries that needed some loving attention. Since Brian's girlfriend's mom got seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident, she has been unable to tend to her garden while she recovers. Brian & Missy did some picking yesterday and called me to see if I would process them so they wouldn't go to waste. I readily agreed since I would love to have some canned beans and elderberry jelly in my pantry for the fall and winter.

My first step was to survey how many beans and berries there were to do. The answer to that was A LOT! There was a fully stuffed Walmart bag and a half stuffed bag of green beans. Then there was 15 to 20 pounds of elderberries. Wow.

I had half the berries in the sink and half still in the bag. At the same time, I had about a third of the beans in the other sink and the rest in the bag.

So, I started the beans and taught Laural how to snap them and then I started the berries. Before too long Brian and Missy stopped in and they snapped the beans with Laural.

We ended up with 2 1/2 big pots filled with cleaned and snapped beans.

I filled a big pot half way with elderberries to be cooked down for jelly.

About half way through the cooking, they looked like this:

Then I started putting the beans into jars. I filled 16 pint jars and one quart. I still have a lot to do but they will have to be frozen since I'm out of jars! Waiting to be processed:

Into the water they go!

After getting the 1st batch of beans into the canner, it was time to start straining the berries. Here they sit in cheese cloth, drip, drip, dripping away.

Well, I'm getting there. I think I might just put the juice in the fridge and turn it into jelly tomorrow. I will try to get the rest of the beans blanched and in the freezer tonight as well as freeze the remaining elderberries. I will post Part 2 later tonight or tomorrow morning.

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