Friday, July 24, 2015

Freezing Green Beans

 I’ll be up front with you.
This entire post is about green beans.
I realize that likely squelches the interest of many of you
who never will care an iota about a green bean
unless it’s one you’re putting in your mouth.
But read on if you care to. J

I have somewhat of a compulsion about efficiency.
Just ask my husband.  He says I’m so efficient that I become inefficient.
There are things sitting around our house that aren’t put away
simply because I’m not making a trip to that room right now.
I’ll wait and take them with me when I’m going there anyway.
Of course they’re forgotten on the next journey to the intended room.

But I digress.
Back to beans.
I generally plant plenty of beans to freeze for the year,
and I’m always looking for ways to save time with a project like that.
I’ve had some great pleasure (again, just ask my husband
who gets to hear my excitements)
 in finding a timesaver in freezing green beans this year.
That excitement provides the reason why I’m writing about Green Beans.

I don’t claim to have it nailed down to perfection,
but I’ll share what I’ve come up with.
If you have tips and tricks, leave some comments! J

For starters, I pick the beans by snapping off the ends,
leaving them on the plant.
That way I have a whole bucket of beans with the ends already removed.
Takes a bit longer in the garden, but it’s worth it to me.

When I bring the beans in, I line them up in batches
on my wooden chopping block.
(A large cutting board would work just fine too.)
A big knife makes the work quick. 

 With this method I can cut up a five gallon bucket
full of beans in ten minutes or less.
For real!
One negative is that the beans are not quite as even a length
as if I’d looked at each one as I cut them.
But I’ll give up each bean on my plate equaling
exactly 2 3/16 of an inch for time saved with a knife.

 I don’t worry about the beans that fall –
just let the pooch eat them.
(Crazy dog LOVES raw beans!)

After I blanch and cool the beans, I drain them in the sink
since I don’t have a large colander (which would probably work better).
A side note:  Last year I tried freezing some beans unblanched
which was a huge time-saver.
But we did think they tasted a little “off”.
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have thought about it
if I ate them at someone else’s house,
but they just didn’t taste as good as what we were used to.
And I don’t want to ruin my family’s appetite for beans
– they’re our go to vegetable. 

 And here’s the new part of my method.
Instead of spending time bagging into quart zipper bags,
I’ve been dumping the whole batch of drained beans
into a clean pillow case stripped over a bucket.
I rubber band it shut, haul it out to the freezer in the garage,
and pop it in to freeze.

Once the beans are frozen, I get a full sized brown paper
grocery bag and line it with two kitchen sized trash bags.
Then the pillowcase of beans comes out of the freezer
(it may require a few plops on the floor to break apart any frozen-together-beans),
and the contents are simply dumped, loose,
into the lined paper bag.  They flow out beautifully!  

The paper bag happens to be the perfect size to
fit into the compartments of our chest freezer.

I like this method because the beans are loose
and I can get out whatever amount I need for a meal,
depending on how many people we’re serving.
I can just open the bag and scoop however many I want
into my cooking pan -- just a few, or a considerable pot full.

So... if you’ve stuck with the bean theme this long,
I hope you might find some of this to be useful! J
I love learning new gardening and household tips.
Like I said earlier, share away in the comments area!

“And my God will supply every need of yours
according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” 
 Philippians 4:19

Friday, July 17, 2015

Proverbs from the Garden

Resolving to end bad habits but refusing to recognize their cause,
is like removing weed tops without their roots.
You will see the sprouts again another day.

The first pie-cherry is sour, the second tart, the third tangy, and the forth sweet.
(The thought in this observation came from my Cassie Jo, age 6.)

 Be happy when you find a worm in your salad.
You could have found half a worm.

 Provide support for tomatoes and children when they are extremely small.
Cages supply the structure and support needed for strong growth.
Forcing more developed growers into cages causes damage and breaking.

It is unwise to pick one’s nose after handling hot chilies.

It would seem that some people, like some bees, come with stingers.
Be wary, but do not let the potential for pain cause hatred.
Both are created for a purpose.

Planting a seed for the singular purpose of beauty is a worthy deed.
Vegetables are food for the body, but beauty is food for the soul.

"But the wisdom from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, open to reason,
 full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere."
James 3:17

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Richard and Johanna's Wedding

I’m finally getting around to posting my random assortment of pictures
from Johanna and Richard’s wedding day!
To me it feels VERY random.
You see, I was a bridesmaid (I was SO honored and loved every moment!)
and only had a camera in my hands for little bits at a time.
I’m still kicking myself for missing some of the gorgeous details that
I really could have taken photos of.
But I’ll just wait patiently to see what Marla (from Emelem Photography),
who was their photographer, captured from the day.

 Johanna is my husband Nathan’s youngest sister
and the last of either of our siblings to get married.
Richard has been attending our church for a number of years
and God’s orchestration of their marriage has been been a blessing to watch.
We’re delighted that Rick chose Johanna for his bride!
 Richard and Johanna got married in our backyard.  (Which I don't have a picture of.)

The week before the wedding I was in the backyard thinking,
“Wow.  Where I live is so gorgeous that it’s perfect for a wedding.
And it’s nothing of my doing.  I’m SO blessed!”  And it’s true.
Living on this farm where Nathan works is an amazing privilege.
I don’t want to take it for granted.

 Johanna’s two nieces, my Cassia and her cousin, Jenika,
were the flower girls.  Oh so exciting!

 I can’t help but take pictures of Jeni, with the freckles sprinkled

so perfectly across her nose and those gorgeous eyes.

 The two big brothers with their little sis.
There’s never a dull moment.

 My brother, Dennis, and his wife, Alison who is Johanna’s sister.
Lest there be confusion, let me try to clear it up now.
Alison and I were best friends.  Then her brother Nathan and I got married.
Now we were “sisters”.  Then my brother, Dennis, married her.
So now we are double “sisters”.
And our kids are double first cousin - all very fun!
And possibly very confusing.

 Little Jeni and her pretty mamma.

Jeni holding her mamma’s flowers.

 Me and my man.
Just me.

 Johanna looked truly happy and full of life.

 Johanna’s talented dad, my father-in-law, has done a beautiful job
of the flowers for all his children’s weddings.
These were no exception.

Johanna’s lovely gown was made by Karen Heatwole.
(with many helpful opinions given by all the sisters and mother.;)) 

 The Duster comes out on wedding days!

Rick’s brother, Dennis, and his beautiful family.

I think it would be safe to say the older sister 
is happy for her little brother!

The groom’s parents.

Richards little niece and nephew – quite a pair.

Such a handsome little man with his sweet mamma!

Johanna’s sister and her family.

 My girls with their Daddy.
And our whole family with Sheralyn together!

 Kadence looked like quite the little lady.
Her hair was done by Ashley Coblentz – thank you Ashley!

The lovely cake was made by Tanya Nissley.
Gorgeous as always!

 Dennis and Alison created this hanging wreath “chandelier”
over the bridal party table.
Gold diamonds, beads, and ribbon hung draped from the boxwood boughs.

Johanna had lots of lovely gold accents to go with the teal color scheme.
(Wishing so badly I had more photos!)

Oh my pretty Jeni, there you are again!

  The little man with his grandpa.

The candy favor table captivated the children.

My onliest nephew, Creedon.

And after all the ice-cream is gone on a hot afternoon,
what better way to end the day than playing in the leftover ice?!

“The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the LORD.
Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments,
the singers raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang:
‘He is good; his love endures forever.’"
2 Chronicles 5:13a

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...