We made our first batch of dill pickles today, though not the kind you might be thinking of. We’re still a week away from harvesting our first cucumber, but we’ve already picked several pounds of beans. Last year we preserved beans by freezing them, which is quick and easy. But our freezer is very small so we’d rather use it for fruit, berries, and of course ice cream. Instead, we decided to try our hand at pickling. Hopefully it will preserve the crunchiness of the beans better than freezing; and pickles store indefinitely at room temperature.
The basic recipe is very simple:
- nice fresh bush beans
- equal parts vinegar (5%) and water
- spices – we used dill, garlic (also from our garden), red pepper flakes, black pepper corn, coriander seed, mustard seed
Stuff all the ingredients in jars; boil the vinegar, salt, and water and fill up the jars; then boil the jars for 5 minutes – that’s it. Of course we won’t know how well it worked until we try them. That won’t be for a while, because they are best left to mature for a few weeks at least.
It’s really quite easy and I’m sure we’ll be doing more pickling this season. Besides beans there are cucumbers, beets, zucchini, pumpkins, … and then there’s all kinds of different spice combinations to try. The possibilities are endless. And there’s something curiously satisfying to see those jars of golden green goodness, knowing that they are from our own garden.