What a fabulous way to spend a day!!! I truly love the classes that The Cookbook Co. offer. They are hugely diverse. From hands on to demonstration classes and including cuisines from all over the world you can easily find something that appeals to you. Again this was part of my birthday present and again thank you ladies!! So spoiled and loving it!! Our class was instructed by Chef Valerie Andrews and she was a wealth of information. I will include one of the recipes we made that day and in a few days time will give you another. This recipe is for pickled green beans but could be for any vegetable you would like to pickle. There are many safe guards you have to comply with to get a safe and delicious product. I will highlight some of these but will not go into all aspects of canning and preserving. Here is what I have learned and will share with you for the delicious beans.
High acid foods can be done in a water bath canner. This included vegetables that are done in vinegar. Depending on your product you may want to parboil them first for a few minutes. As an example baby tender carrots wouldn’t need to be cooked first but large hard carrots would definitely be benefited by cooking them slightly first. You have to be the judge. We cooked our beans in class first and rinsed them in cold water. Ideally a ice bath would have been better to preserve the colour. “Sterilize” your jars first. They are not really sterilized but as clean as you can get them.
Have your jars, lids and rings cleaned first in a dishwasher. Place your jars in a canner and stand them right side up and fill the pot with hot water. Boil for 10 min. increasing the boil time by one minute for each 1,000 ft. of elevation. So here in Calgary add another 3 min. Drain jars and keep them warm in a 200F oven.
Lids don’t need to be boiled but they need to sit in hot water for at least 5 min. to soften the rubber ring.
Pickled Green Bean Recipe
Makes 2 pints
1 lb. green beans, washed and trimmed
6 sprigs of dill or to taste
2 garlic cloves, bruised
1 tsp. chili flakes
1 cup cider vinegar (do not use white vinegar)
1 c. water (should be distilled, reverse osmosis or spring water)
2 Tbsp. sea salt (do not use iodized salt)
2 heaping tsp. or more whole pickling spice
2 bay leaves
Cut beans to desired height so that they easily fit in the jar with head room. Place in your dill, garlic, chile flakes, pickling spice, bay leaf dividing evenly among the two jars that are hot from the oven. Pack the beans in the jars laying them on their side to get as many in a possible.
In a saucepan, combine cider vinegar, water and 2 Tbsp. sea salt. Bring to a boil. Pour hot vinegar over the beans leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Wipe rims clean. Top with hot lid and twist to just closed then give the jar a quarter turn more. Process in a water bath for 10 min.
Fill water bath canner with water and heat to boiling. Have a large pot or kettle filled with hot water to top up water bath. Place the jars gently into the water bath using a gripper. Add 2 Tbsp. of vinegar to the canning bath. Bring back up to a boil, cover and start to time once the water has come back up to a gentle boil. After the appropriate time let sit 5 min. in the hot water and then remove to a cooling rack. Let cool completely and then check that the lids are sucked down and sealed. Do not reuse the lids but the jars and rims can be reused.
Here are my pictures from my most enjoyable day!!! A big thanks again to Chef Valerie Andrews for all her helpful hints, techniques and recipes!!