Hills of beans

“Maxibel” haricot vert and Roma

Hardcore food processing has begun. The picture shows–and I am such a geek I weighed them–about 5.25 pounds of the skinny beans and 1.75 pounds of the fat ones (after processing). Beans get tipped and tailed, cut (sometimes), blanched, cooled, bagged and sealed with a FoodSaver, then put into the deep-freeze. This should last us a while.

I’m pleased with the haricot vert variety this year. VERY productive plants, and the beans don’t get fat and lumpy. My usual rule is “do not sit down” when doing anything in the garden: you tend to get planted yourself. Each bush plant, though, was so laden with these beans I had to break my cardinal rule. The Romas are my favorite, and are great, especially, in minestrone. (Coincidentally, I made and processed about two gallons of that soup yesterday. It’s also in the deep freeze, though I suppose I could’ve canned it.)

Earlier, I had mentioned how I have to relearn how long things take: initially, it is a shock to the system. Now, though, it is meditative, this “work.” But frankly, I was so overwhelmed by the bean-y bounty I enlisted my husband’s help! (Thanks, man.)

Today, it’s corn, and Saturday, it’s peaches. Yum!

3 responses to “Hills of beans

  1. Your use of the FoodSaver prompted my wife to consider one. She asked a couple of questions. Is there any taste in the stored food that can be associated with the FoodSaver bags?
    Are ZipLock bags more environmentally friendly because they can be washed (I hate that job) and reused. I don’t reuse ones that stored meat.

  2. Don,

    The FoodSaver bags are a lot thicker than freezer-type ZipLock bags, and we have noticed no aftertaste in them at all. They’re made of fairly stable plastic: they’re supposedly safe for use to boil/heat the food. (I don’t do that; I’ll bring the bags up from the freezer and thaw them in the fridge, then reheat the contents in a pan.) Environmentally friendly? I consider plastic to be very similar to nuclear waste: it will be around LONG after we are gone. Whether I am adding to the problem by using FoodSaver bags is tricky. We are not plastics consumers. We don’t use ziplock bags, or buy plastic bags at all. We don’t buy prepackaged food period, as we get most food in bulk (with reused cloth bags where possible). We do have sandwich bags made of wax paper, though.

    The vacuum seal created by the FoodSaver and other machines like it does reduce the incidence of ice crystals in long-frozen food to near zero. Tom uses it to marinate his (nonfrozen) meat (there’s a plastic tub for this). Some foods are just “better” simply frozen, and the greenbeans qualify. We also buy coffee in ridiculously large quantities, and we freeze it by the 5-lb bag.

    I would recommend it over simply using freezer ziplock bags, as the vacuum is a great feature.

    Hope that helps!

  3. el

    Thanks for the comments. I will pass them on to my wife. Still plan to make a trip to Journeyman this fall.


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