Yesterday, I saw daffodils while I was walking through the rain, and believed, for the first time, that it was spring. (See, I’ve become a hard-bitten, cynical New Englander after all.) In preparation for farmers market season, No Egrets and I bought a pressure canner.
We decided to practice a little before we had pounds of heirloom tomatoes, green beans, peppers, and okra to waste. So, as I sat at the table doing my day job (that would be corraling commas and wrestling homonyms to the ground), I watched No Egrets can beans. We decided to begin with plain beans. Our first idea had been to make Mexican beans, salad beans, etc., but then we realized at the end of the season we would want Mexican beans, but have nothing but cannelini beans with basil.
No Egrets boiled the turtle beans, stuck them in mason jars, and put them in the pressure canner. (There may have been more steps, but I was too busy matching references and citations to notice.) Then he spent an inordinate amount of time staring at said canner, watching the metal pin that releases pressure bounce up and down.
After an hour or so of boiling, we turned off the heat. We waited for the pressure to go down from 11 pounds to zero pounds, and then gingerly opened the canner. There was bean liquor boiling in the jars. We took this as a good sign. One by one, I heard the glorious pop of the mason jars sealing themselves.
Here’s hoping we don’t die of botilism!!