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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Magical Fruit

I have been a busy little beaver, or whatever animal eats beans as opposed to trees, this week.

Some wonderful friends of mine made me gave me the opportunity to pick beans out of their garden with them.  I didn't realize what work that was!  I ended up going home with two 5 gallon buckets full of beans.  To say I was overwhelmed with all those beans is quite the understatement!
If you've never canned before (or gardened) make sure that you are willing to commit TIME to it before you spend some money on it.  Me, I'm one of those 27 year olds that has an "old soul."  (A nice way to say that I'm a fuddy duddy??)  I would love for our household to be mostly self sufficient (I'm not going out and milking a cow, now.)  So I sew, cook, garden, and now....can!

Canning actually isn't all that bad; it's the prep work you must do to the beans before you can them that is time consuming and leaves you with pruny fingers that would have had you kicked out of the swimming pool at age 10 in a heartbeat.  You must clean them over and over again to be sure there is no dirt and then snip their ends off.  Doesn't sound like much, but did I mention I had two 5 gallon buckets?!!?!?!  I know it doesn't seem it, but I would definitely do this again and I really did enjoy it.
I have to share with you this recipe for blackened beans that I adapted from one I found online.  I kept some of the beans fresh for steaming, etc. and decided to copy blacked beans that I had at a restaurant many moons ago.  They are delish!
First I blanched the green beans.  (If you don't know how to to do this, it's simple: boil beans for 3 minutes then plunge them immediately into a bath of ice water for 3 minutes.)
I combined (2T)paprika, (1t)cayenne pepper, (2t)garlic powder, (2T) parmesan cheese, (2t) kosher salt, (1t) black pepper, and tossed the blanched beans into the mixture.  Once completely tossed, I put the beans in a frying pan with a little EVOO (olive oil) until the spices turned black.  Voila!



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