Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Putting up My Purple Pole Beans

All my life I remember my mother telling me about these purple pole beans that Mom Gordon used to grow in her garden.  Their sweetness and flavor surpassed anything you could buy in the store.  I have a very vague memory of my mom finding some at some produce stand and showing me how they changed from deep purple to a bright vibrant green when they are placed in boiling water.  I have always kept an eye out for these elusive legumes and finally had an epiphany....I can start them from seeds!  This summer, as I was starting to plan my fall garden and get the seedlings ready, I search online for seeds from Burpee which is where my great-grandmother always found her seeds.  Well those little seeds shot right up like a bean stalk....oh wait, they ARE a bean stalk! I was so pleased to see how prolific my plants seemed to be producing millions of bean pods!  It made me feel that little connection with Mom Gordon I love which always comes when I play in my garden!

As the weather has started getting colder I knew I wanted to put up as many of the beans as I could before our first frost.  Yesterday afternoon after a long difficult day, as one of my favorite forms of therapy, I went out to the garden with my basket and a pair of gardening sheers in toe.  I was somewhat overwhelmed at the sheer volume of beans I was able to find as I lifted a new leaf here and a new leaf was incredible!
Here is how you put them "up" so that you can pull them out of the freezer later in the winter and have fresh green beans whenever you want!

First give them a good wash as everything that comes out of the garden needs to be rinsed off.  The bugs and the grass clippings from the yard do not tend to make for added flavor!
Next, break off both ends and try to pull the string off the back of the bean as well....sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn't, just try your best!
Now you are going to break the beans into 2-inch pieces 
(or what ever size you prefer your beans to be).
Finally it is time to blanche your beans to remove any bacteria on them.  
Dump in the boiling water and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
This the fun part when they change colors!
Finally, you want to plunge them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

I thought it was interesting to see the difference side-by-side!
The last thing you need to do is putt them away in freezer bags so that you can pull them out and cook them any old way you want!
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