As I was prepping this batch of beans, I had decided to use a pack of Ball Heritage Collection Pint Green Jars. Looking at the side of a jar, molded in, is “100 Years of American Heritage “. Growing up, canning was pretty much uncool. Who did that when you could go to a store? My Mom did. But then, we were pretty much poor, so we had to. Had to. Think about that. We ate way better food because buying it made was more money. In the 1980′s it was so embarrassing that my Mom canned. She also made bread, dehydrated food….yeah, it was a rough childhood I am grateful to her though, that she did teach me how to can and not be intimidated by it. It isn’t hard, it is pretty low-tech and if you do it at night, after the kids go down to bed, it is quiet and the work goes fast.
The history of these cool jars is this “2013 marked the 100th anniversary of the development of a series of jars, designed by the Ball brothers, each intended to be better than the one before. 1913 saw the launch of the first true “Perfect Mason” jar followed in 1914 by the “PERFECTION”. 2014 marks the second year of a multi-year limited edition series with the introduction of the Spring Green Jar. These vintage-inspired green jars maintain all of our modern standards for quality and reliability.” I bought a ton of the blue ones, and snagged the green ones as soon as I saw them! I even bought the matching Ball Green Color 6-Pack Lids and Bands (they come in blue as well!).
I took a recipe from Blue Book Guide to Preserving and adapted it. I played with the spices and vegetables and added in sugar, but didn’t mess with the vinegar or processing time (don’t mess with that!). Do I recommend my recipe? If you feel safe, then yes. I feel comfortable with what I did, but I have canned a lot. If you are new to canning, get a copy of The Blue Book or Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and follow the recipes exactly!
Sweet and Hot Pickled Green Beans
- 2½ pounds fresh green beans
- 1 medium red bell pepper (about ½ pound)
- 6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
- 1½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1½ tsp yellow mustard seed
- 3¾ cups apple cider vinegar
- 3¾ cups filtered water
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 Tbsp sea salt
Rinse, drain, and rinse beans, drain well and lay out on new paper towels to dry. Remove any leaves and wilted beans, discard.
Wash 6 pint canning jars, bands and new lids in hot, soapy water, rinse well.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water to a boil, set aside and keep jars in it till needed. Bring a small pot of water to a simmer, add in lids and bands, take off heat and keep covered.
Fill canning pot halfway with water, bring to a near boil.
Bring vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil in a tall saucepan.
Line up the beans in batches, and trim off the tops, discarding. If beans are long, cut in half.
Remove top off bell pepper, discard with seeds and white parts inside, slice thinly.
Drain jars using tongs, place on a clean kitchen towel, divide beans between jars, fitting in. Squeeze in slices of red bell pepper. Drop in a garlic clove in each jar and ¼ teaspoon of each spice. Gently tap jars to settle. Using a canning funnel, pour in hot vinegar to near the top of each jar. Sterilize a non-metal utensil (a chopstick works well, dip into boiling water) and run along the inside of each jar, to remove air bubbles. Top off with hot liquid as needed, leaving ½” headspace. Dip a clean paper towel in hot water, then run around the top of each jar. Place a lid on each jar, then a band, screw on finger tight.
Turn canner up to high, place jars in water bath rack, lower rack into water. Water should cover by 1 – 2″, if not add a bit more from the other pot that held the jars. Bring to a rolling boil, covered, process for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, carefully remove jars, placing on a clean dry kitchen towel to cool.
Once cooled, check again that seals are down (you should hear the Ping! as each one seals). Gently remove bands (wash, dry and store for your next project. While they look nicer on, if they have water inside from processing, they can rust. If you are giving away your canned items, you can always slip one back on), note on jar or lid what is in jar with a date. Store in a dry/cool/dark area and use within a year.
As always, if you ever go to use a canned item and the lid is not sealed anymore, or bulging, discard it immediately!!!!!! (I have only ever lost one jar in all my canning, so don’t fret!)
Makes 6 pints.