Sunday, April 09, 2006

Green Beans etc

Right at this time of year, I have green beans (I only grow climbing ones), but not a lot, from my second planting. I generally want to preserve some - my favourite mix is green beans, carrot, cauliflower and capsicum, brined and then into vinegar - see picture.


The problem is I never have enough for a big batch, so then I remembered how they were done when I was a child. They were just picked daily, as they mature quickly, and thrown into a stone crock with salt, and brined. They kept for months - they were just thoroughly rinsed and cooked as per normal.

So I have been picking beans, throwing them into abig glass (ie inert) bottle with salt (I haven't got to the stone crocks yet, although I still have them). When I get enough I then add the other three veggies, and brine the lot overnight and then bottle in spiced vinegar the next day.

Why this comes to mind at the minute, is yesterday I had a magic moment. We have been though a long and difficult medical process with my mother over the past two years, and at the same time a former workmate has had an identical series of appointments, and we kept meeting in towns many hours drive from home with out mothers. Mary's mother is Macedonian.

Yesterday was the last appointment, and we added a very feisty elderly German woman and her daughter to the mix, as we all waited for appointments running an hour and a half late. Mary's Mum was a very avid veggie gardener and put a lot of sauce and preserves down. And so did the German lady and her daughter. So there we were, discussing methods in all countries, swapping recipes (although Mary's Mum and I started this a few appointments ago) and engaging in general hilarity.

The long-term brineing of green beans was common in Germany, not heard of in Macedonia. So I asked my mother where she got it from, as it doesn't seem to be something common. "Did you learn it from your Mother?". "No - your father taught me it".

Conversation just kept getting louder and louder in the waiting room, everyone was throwing in recipes and tips, and it was almost a disappointment when we got our time with the specialist.

Has anyone else struck long-term bringing of green beans as a way of preserving them? Curious minds want to know.

And if anyone wants details of exactly how these veggies are bottled - drop me a line.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We used to have green beans on our dinner plates every night! Our mother never preserved them in this way but knowing her she would have found a way to freeze them.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Val said...

I love this snapshot of the Australian melting pot. And I could just hear the different accents competing with each other too. Not interested in the vegetable mix so much as the ethnic mix!

9:13 PM  
Blogger sonia a. mascaro said...

Looks yummy!

7:49 AM  
Blogger Kerri said...

Sounds (and looks) delicious, but, unfortunately my hubby won't eat anything pickled or brined. I just freeze our beans. We grow lots. Cooked fresh from the garden is our favourite way to eat them!

11:04 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

I love almost anything pickled! I once did something similar to your crock thing, but just ended up eating it and not ever bottling it for longer term storage. I'd love to hear the details! My daughter talked me into growing these odd multi-colored "green" beans so I've got purple, green, and yellow beans. Your idea here would make quite a colorful lot!

1:44 PM  

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