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.
A few days ago the weather was rather cold. Not winter time cold but cold enough to think about making chili. I went to the pantry to get a jar of chili for a quick supper. DUH! I’m out of pre-made chili. So I grab a jar of ground beef, a jar of tomatoes, a jar of mushrooms, and a can of tomato sauce to make the chili from scratch. I reach for a jar of red beans. DUH! I don’t have any red beans for the chili. Dang, I should have remembered that because I’ve been out of canned beans for about a month. Then I discovered I didn’t have any chili powder either. Defeated I made spaghetti instead.
Next day I decided I really needed to can beans. I eat them quite often in various dishes and the convenience of jars with beans already cooked is rather nice. No metal can taste either.
I got out my basket with bags of beans and started picking through them. As I was doing this it occurred to me I could greatly speed up the canning process if I picked through all of the beans ahead of time.
Giggle, my daughter thought I was sorting beans from a bag of mixed beans. No, I’m just going through them to pick out the rocks, clumps of dirt, bug bitten ones, pieces of corn, and other debris.
I decided to pick through all the beans I have and put them into storage containers instead of leaving them in bags. The result is that I now have better storage for all the dry beans in my pantry. Each container holds about 6 pounds.
The date on the label is the date I bought them, not an expiration date. Last summer the store was clearing out their stock and would no longer be selling beans except for some in the ethnic food isle. I got these at half price.
I canned 10 jars because my pressure canner holds ten. I did 3 kidney, 3 pinto, 3 navy, and 1 butter (lima). This gave me an immediate variety and I’ll can more in the next few days. I still need black beans.
I use the dry can method which is 1/2 cup of dry beans per one pint jar. Add water and pressure can. No pre-soaking or pre-cooking. I leave out the salt.