The biggest problem with growing dried beans is cooking them. Before I grew my own dried beans I always had cans on hand to make things. I could whip up my winter soups so quickly that way. Now it takes planning. The best planning is the night before to soak them. But you can cheat and get them to boiling then take them off the stove to let them sit for an hour and it works about as well. The beans from my garden take about an hour to cook until they are soft. They are so quick because they are so fresh. But still I need a full two hours at the least of planning to have fully cooked beans. Some days that is fine. But some I need a quicker bean or I lose out on eating them.
I'd been drooling over a pressure canner for years. I finally broke down and bought it for myself for Christmas. As my husband says, we have a weird way of getting gifts. We tell our spouse what we want for the holidays then we go out and buy it. Hey it is quick turn around and you get to pick what you want. No one in our family has been big on surprises. Since the kids have grown we end up with very very few gifts under the tree. But I digress.
With a pressure canner I could can some of my beans. The issue I ran into is that I don't have a lot of any one type of bean. I have lots of little containers of beans. So I had four pots of beans cooking on the stove to try to get enough parboiled beans to fill up the pressure canner.
8 of them were successful; 3 didn't seal; and 1 was pretty questionable since it had lost a lot of its internal liquid. I put the last four in the fridge for immediate use. I'm guessing they didn't seal because beans really foam up when cooking. There could have been some leaking which can mess with the seal. If anyone out there has any tips for canning beans I'd appreciate it. 1/3 with bad seals is not a good number. I probably won't can any more beans this year as 8 jars will fill in the gaps for when I forget to start my beans early enough.
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