Debbie Dance Uhrig
This week I got to write an article on pressure canning for a major magazine. Now we sit back and see if it was accepted, and when it will appear? Subject: One of my favorites, pressure canning.
So, I thought I might embark on an idea for winter. During the summer we usually can the fresh produces found in our gardens. These days we don’t find many people growing shell beans like we did 40 years ago. Most people purchase their beans dried from the grocery shelf or in the commercially canned section.
One of our employees at work told me this fall that she has ‘never’ purchased canned beans at the grocery store. If she doesn’t grow them for canning she buys dried and cans them herself. If you have the jars in your basement this is a huge way to save dollars upon dollars. I always tease that when I go to make an infamous pan of baked beans I can spend as much as $20.00. This is because I used to purchase all the beans. I would venture to say, that by canning them myself, a pan of 9 x 13 baked beans could be made for roughly $4.00. Rather shocking I do say.
Does this mean I don’t buy canned beans anymore? No, I still buy some for when I’m in a tight bind. The recipe that I’m giving you today is delicious. Please note that there’s an option for brown sugar at the bottom of the recipe. My assistant Bonnie sorta’ chuckles when I talk about baked beans and how they’re one of my favorite things. Bonnie came from Texas and they don’t tend to eat our sweet baked beans. Instead its pinto beans pretty much like they appear in this canning recipe.
Feel free to play with my bean recipe. I would stay tight to the amount of salt used. Also notice that sodium free chicken stock was implemented. Therefore if you decide to use salted chicken stock you will need to use less salt in the jar! That could be a fun one!
When I was writing my recipe I practiced, in my ‘small’ pressure cooker, with the recipe. This way I didn’t make a whole pressure canner full of beans, and then decide I didn’t like the recipe! You can’t safely store beans that have been processed in a pressure cooker. However you will know all the things you do or don’t want to do, when you make a big batch in the canner. Let me make this real real clear. A pressure canner is what you use for the recipe featured today. This puts the product under pressure at a specific temperature and weight. Most pressure cookers do not have this ability.
There are a great deal more beans out there to play with. I adore black eyed peas with tomatoes, cilantro, onion, peppers and grilled chicken. I’m thinking of trying this recipe very soon too.
So my point in this column is: “When it’s cold outside ‘can’ beans for the year.” Get up early, keep the beans on hand, and you can have a very productive winter day. This is terrible, now that I’ve talked about the black eyed pea thing, I’m just itching to go make a batch!
I’m cleaning on the home front. So far I can’t say anything is finished, but there’s certainly a great deal of sorting going on. This week my brother in law landed in Houston for his treatments. The first night they opened up my canned stew and had it for supper. But the real delight was when they went to the first radiation treatment. Friends from Lewis County, Missouri, who read this column, were in the same waiting room! Ervin’s Dad is positive (as am I) that the Lord placed them together for a reason.
Don’t forget I’ll be at The Cook’s Nook, McPherson, Kansas, Saturday, February 11th. Call for a reservation. My assistant, Bonnie, is making the trip with me. She’s quite a lady and a wonderful cook!
Here’s to sunshine from up above or within your spirit. Have a grand week. Simply Yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
(Measurements based upon pint jars.)
1/2 teaspoon sodium free chicken stock granules
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 cooked strip of bacon, chopped
Dry Pinto Beans, 1/2 cup per pint
In the bottom of each pint jar place everything except for the beans and boiling water. Pour just a small amount of boiling water into the jar, stirring to dissolve.
Pour in the dry beans. Finish pouring in boiling water until you are about 1 inch from the rim of the jar. Following canning protocols; boil the flats in a small saucepan. Clean and dry rims of jar, place dried flat in place and then tighten ring down.
Place inside pressure canner. Fill with required amount of water. Follow instructions for your particular canner. You will need to cook the beans at 10lbs. for 1 hour and 20 minutes. To keep from pulling liquid from the jars allow the pressure cooker to cool down naturally.
Mix beans with your favorite sauces and meats to make a dish of baked beans. Those from the south, particularly the Southwest, will like their beans straight from the jar!
Facts to know:
- 4 pints of beans will require l pound of dry pintos.
- Those from the North who like ‘sweet’ beans may desire to add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar to each pint jar.