An amazing crop of green beans has netted about 11 pounds to date and they are still coming off the most prolific bushes I have ever planted! What to do with so many green beans? I remember once sending my little boys off with a wagon load of zucchini to share with our unsuspecting neighbors in Ohio (none could say no to two innocent little boys determined to share their bounty–they came home with an empty wagon) but having peddled green beans to my siblings and the neighbors, and having eaten several variations for salads and dinner– it has become apparent I am going to have to work at this.
My grandmother canned endless quarts of green beans from her garden and our family ate them all winter, but the thought of a pressure cooker scares me to death. Once when I was about 5 years old, I was sitting on the floor of the back porch next to the kitchen door when I heard an explosion and Mother came running out, followed by several other family members. When we had enough courage to go back inside, we found a kitchen dripping with the contents of her canning jars (funny, I don’t remember if was green beans). Obviously the pressure gauge was off kilter or my mother forgot to check on it. Lesson learned–beware of pressure cookers!
My grandmother gave me a wedding gift of a pressure cooker and ‘lo these many, many years it has never been used. I hauled it on various moves all over the United States and now it sits gathering dust in the basement here at Dry Creek. I have decided to use every method of dealing with the green beans short of canning them or feeding them to the neighbor’s pigs. So, today I made pickles and froze some to use in soups and stews this winter. Now, what am I going to do with the 5+ pounds sitting in the refrigerator downstairs? Or the beans waiting to be picked in the garden?
The rest of the garden has been producing abundant amounts of carrots, beets, Swiss chard, kale, peas, lettuce and a bezillion tomatoes, none of which have ripened to date. Here we are mid-August, for Pete’s sake! The cucumbers are almost as late as the tomatoes, but I guess when you have temperatures in the 20’s in mid May, you can expect to have a slow start on a garden. Nobody said it was easy to garden in Wyoming.
It looks like I will have to research more recipes for green tomatoes–we typically have a frost by the second week of September and I am going to have a ton of tomatoes that just didn’t have time to ripen on the vine. I will put a row cover on and hang lights to prolong the agony and attempt to defeat the frost, but tomatoes never taste quite the same as when they are kissed by bright, warm sunshine.
Early Girls are giving their best to the effort – bless ’em.