when I was a kid (and Methuslah was a teenager) we had neither freezers nor canning equipment, so we used to salt our beans. You just cut them as usual, and pack alternate layers of salt and beans in a stone jar. They need a long soak and a lot of washing to remove the salt, and they're not as good as frozen beans; but at least we had our beans for dinner on Christmas Day.
Patgeorge I know this method was used on cabbage! It was used on cucumbers and later canning them as pickles, AND shuck beans --- I have had lots and lots of them. I even stringed me up some and dried them a year ago. BUT NEVER have I heard of salting down beans. How do they taste - frozen to me taste sort of green!
Angela, great article showing the differences in the two ways of preserving beans; I've only used the freezing-method before, and only a few times, as we haven't had a vegetable garden in years. My grandmother used to can beans & other veggies the other way.
Pat: I was wondering if it was hard to get all that salt-taste out of the beans; I've never even heard of doing it that way, but I'm no expert! Do you remember if your family preserved other veggies that way too? That's so interesting! =)
We didn't blanch them or prepare them in any special way. As far as I can recall they needed overnight soaking and washing in several changes of water to get rid of the salt taste. It's many years since I had them. However, I know we enjoyed them, and runner (pole) beans with our Christmas diner were a family tradition. We still eat them; but from the freezer. It's taken me three years to grow them here in Finland; but at last I've cracked it and got about seven pounds from a twelve foot row. I'm as pleased ss if I'd won a gold medal!
We didn't as far as I can remember salt any other vegetables. We preserved eggs by putting them in a bucket containing a solution of isinglass. They kept for some months, and we had eggs from our backyard hens when they weren't laying in winter. Eggs were of course rationed in those days. Most people were allowed one a week; although expectant mothers got two.
Pat, Congrats on your bean crop! Determination paid off, didn't it?! =)
I have also never heard of preserving eggs in 'isinglass'--- what is that? Wow, an egg that lasts for several months...did it taste the same as a fresh one?...Interesting things I'm learning today!
Have a nice day, and Wow, you live in a Cold zone compared to me!
Hi Petalpants. Issinglass is apparently made from the swim bladders of certain fish. It's used by winemakers as a clearing agent. That's why you see "vegetarian wine" which doesn't use it!
Dad used to buy it from the pharmacy in tins. It looked like colourless "golden" syrup. I remember him pouring it into a white enamel bucket of hot water and stirring to dissolve it. Apparently it acts by sealing the shells of the eggs. I can't remember if they tasted different. It was about sixty five years ago.
Mum used to bottle a lot of fruit. We didn't have any special apparataus - just a large saucepan and some Kilner jars.
I've lived here about three years. After the South West of England it's been a steep learning curve. I've picked up some good tips from the cold climate forum of DG, and also from a couple of Canadian websites. My main problem is the very short growing season. During the long dark winter I have to satisfy my passion for vegetable growing by sprouting mung beans and growing cress on wet kitchen paper on the windowsill.