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This post is sponsored by Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Home Canning products however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
When we moved into this house, less than 6 months ago, we had no idea that we were gaining so much more than just a roof over our heads. The home belongs to friends of our family, that we’ve known and loved for years. Just steps away, live their parents, in a home on the same property.
The day we met, they introduced themselves as “Grandma and Grandpa” and insisted that our daughters call them by those names. It didn’t take long before the girls got attached to them. I often find them helping Grandpa in the garage or sweet talking a snack out of Grandma. Watching them learn, grow and really bond with them has been such a blessing for our family. Last week, Falynn even mentioned that her favorite part of this house is that it came with a free Grandma and Grandpa.
While we have created a few family traditions already, this Summer, I wanted to make a new one, with our new family. So last weekend, Falynn and I spent the day small batch canning in Grandma’s kitchen and made spicy mixed dilly beans. I love that the recipe includes lots of dill, which was my Nana’s favorite fresh herb. It was like having a little piece of her in the kitchen with us.
Spicy Mixed Dilly BeansPrint
A twist on classic dilly beans, this version calls for mixed string beans and spices with a strong bite. Use any variety of beans your garden or farmer’s market offers, keeping in mind that red and purple beans lose their color once cooked.
- 2 lbs mixed yellow wax and green beans (rinsed, stem ends trimmed, cut into 4 inch lengths)
- 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp Ball Salt for Pickling and Preserving
- 8 red Thai chili peppers (optional) (a small slice lengthwise down the middle, leaving pepper intact)
- 1/2 sweet onion (sliced thin lengthwise, divided into 4 portions)
- 4 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tsp crushed black peppercorns
- 8 dill sprigs
- Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use, do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set aside with bands.
- Combine vinegars, water, sugar, and salt in a 4-quart saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar.
- Place 1 clove crushed garlic, 1/2 teaspoon each mustard seeds and black peppercorns into a hot jar. Pack beans cut side up, add onion slices, 2 Thai chilis, and 2 sprigs dill into jar.
- Ladle hot brine over beans in jar, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
- Process jars 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed.
Small batch canning is a lot easier than I thought and has turned into a summer hobby for us. We made mixed berry jam and pasta sauce last year and this year, I knew I wanted to pickle something! While we had to purchase the ingredients from our local market, I’m hoping that next year, we’ll have a garden full of fresh veggies to pickle.
We use our Ball® jars for so many things.. gift giving, crafts, canning and even use them as cups! I was excited to use our new 135th celebration Ball® Aqua Vintage jars. They are so pretty and come in a variety of sizes. It’s no wonder that Ball® Home Canning remains the #1 consumer choice for mason jars in North America.
While the jars of mixed dilly beans were processing, Grandma decided to cut out pieces of fabric and Falynn picked fresh flowers from our yard, to add to the top of the jars. It’s an easy and fun way to dress them up, for gifting purposes.
While we probably should have waited a little longer, the following day we just had to open one and see how they tasted. We wound up leaving the Thai peppers out, since we aren’t huge spicy food fans. The girls said they tasted like green beans, salt and vinegar chips and pickles, all mixed together. It might be hard to imagine that flavor combination, but I can tell you that they tasted great! We gave one jar to Grandma, to thank her for helping us and we’ve been trying to save the other two jars for a few more days, to see if they taste any different. It’s taking all of our will power.
If you’ve been wanting to try pickling, preserves, or any type of small batch canning, I really encourage you to do so. Maybe you could share the experience with someone you love! You can pick up the Ball® Preserving Starter Kit and these collectible 135th celebration Ball® Aqua Vintage jars, at your local Target. There are all sorts of deals running in-store, and on Ibotta! Don’t forget to check out the Ball® Home Canning website for lots of recipe ideas!
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