A little over a week ago I took a class on canning and freezing offered by our local county extension office. Growing up I spent a good deal of my summers on my grandparent’s farm and remember the work that went into canning and freezing produce from my grandmother’s large garden. My brother, cousin and I would spend what felt like our entire day (it was probably more like an hour or two) snapping bucket after bucket of green beans. Just as we finally got to the bottom of one bucket, Grandmother would come in from the garden and dump an even bigger batch into our pail. We would moan and groan, and Grandmother would just grin at us as she headed back out to the garden to do the truly backbreaking part of harvesting green beans.
Tomatoes, corn, pickled beets, lima beans, peas, green beans and many other things would be blanched, peeled, shucked, snapped, canned and frozen in Grandmother’s sweltering un-air-conditioned kitchen.
My situation now is a little different. While my mother kept a suburban garden while I was growing up, it never produced enough to go through the canning production my Grandmother’s required. We did make and can strawberry jam in the spring and homemade apple sauce in the fall, but my personal experience with canning and freezing is very limited. Thus the class.
Yesterday I made an attempt at freezer canning green beans. The boys helped and were so excited to help me wash, blanch and fill the jars. They each got to fill their own special jar with green beans. I wrote their name on the lid so when we eat them in a month or two, they’ll know they are “their” green beans. They were also insistent that Mom and Dad needed their own jars of green beans too. And so we do.