Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
I keep canning year round. I enjoy it and it saves me money. In Winter I switch to foods like dry beans and soups and I still can what we get from the mobile food bank.
Several weeks ago I had bought bags of dry beans from the discount bin at Kroger. That store is no longer carrying dry beans except for a few bags of pinto and black beans in the ethnic food isle. I bought several bags of different kinds.
We used to get dry beans in food bank boxes. I haven’t seen any for a really long time. I never saw anyone picking up food turn down or give away dry beans. So, if you are ever in need of an idea for a donation to your food bank. Dry beans would work.
I really like having canned beans ready to open, heat, and eat. I can them often. The cost of canned from the store is hovering around a dollar a can. I save money by canning these myself. Yesterday I decided to can 16 bean soup.
I took out a bag of Lima beans just in case the bean soup did not fill up the canner. I don’t soak or pre-cook the beans. I do what is called a dry pack. The beans must be pressure canned for 90 minutes. That’s pressure cooking them in jars for all that time. Putting beans in the jars unsoaked and uncooked makes them come out just right when finished.
I picked through then rinsed the beans really well. As I was doing that I kept thinking if anyone wanted to grow a large variety of beans in their back yard garden, buying a bag of bean soup mix would give them a variety of 16 types. I noticed is the soup mix no longer has chick peas in it.
Normally I put the beans in half pint size jars which is one serving size. I’m running short on the small jars so I’m using the regular pint size until some of the smaller ones are emptied. I put 1/2 cup dry bean mix into each pint jar. Fill with hot water and process as required.
I use half regular jar lids and half Tattler reusable lids. Why? Well, just in case I decide to enter some of my canning in the fair. The rules say “regular metals lids only, no other type accepted” so these would work.
Now the only thing left is to remove the rings, wash the jars, add a date label, and add them to my inventory.