Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Beans Beans the Magical Fruit

Heating beans in the oven

And on the stove....

More beans....

We had so many beans we had to start using large bowls.

All the empty jar boxes

Well, I'm sure some of you will remember that a few years ago I learned how to can beans. It was lots of fun, and there were beans everywhere. Roughly 5 pounds of dry beans = 15 cups (dry) and need 3 cups of water per cup of beans. So say 5 pounds of beans is 15 cups, and 45 cups of water = 14 jars with a few stray beans, and takes 2 canners to do. Then you hydrate them, cook them a little, put them in jars, and can them for 90 minutes. Well, those were very good beans, and very useful, especially because Justin loves beans. So we ate all of those, then I canned another 5 pounds, we ate all of those. We've been out of beans for a couple of months now, and I keep meaning to can them, and haven't.

So with Justin gone, mom and I decided it would be a good time to do a big project like that. We were going to can 10 pounds, which would be 4 canner loads roughly. Well, I grabbed the wrong bucket, and ended up with a 25 pound bag, instead of the 2 resealable 10 pound bags I was looking for. Plus I had a bag that was partially used so we were going to can those. I know this is too much info, but its part of the story I swear! Anyway, so it was about 35 pounds of beans. Well mom and I start washing beans, and we fill up our 2 pans that we were going to use, and then mom says "Let's just keep going" So we keep going, and going and going, and pretty soon we've washed 35 pounds of beans, and put them in every pot we could find. Now to use the math from up above that would be 105 cups of dry beans (roughly) and 315 cups, or 40 gallons if you prefer, of water. Let's just say - it was a sea of beans as far as the eye could see. We took pictures, but it just doesn't do it justice.

That was monday, we put them to soak, or soften. Then tuesday we set out canning. We used 5+ cases of quart jars, worked for 16 hours (until 2 am), and ended up with about 60 something quarts of canned beans. There actually were more beans 2 1/2 canners (15 jars or so) but we just couldn't do it. At 2 am we said enough, the chickens can eat the rest of the beans and went to bed. It was really fun, but lots of beans. If we ate 1 jar a week, we would have enough beans right now for more than a year. It was a lot of work, but at least it was done at one time instead of having to keep doing smaller batches throughout the year I guess. Now we just need to see how long they actually last! :D


Brian & Charlotte Carper said...

someone needs to clean those ovens. yuck . hehehe

the Carlos Family said...


Blake said...

That's a lot of beans.

The Rhiens said...

Whoa! That's one funny story. And one very impressive batch of beans! I can't believe that you actually had enough large containers to hold them all. When you said that you had been canning beans for Justin....well, I just really had no idea what a huge project you were talking about. Good work!