Category Archives: Preserving

Canning beans.

New rule for Kitty.  Putting it here so I can’t possibly forget.

Beans get frozen.  ONLY frozen.  I have ruined 2 seasons of Hamby beans trying to keep them in jars.

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Filed under Beans, Preserving


I don’t really care for fresh cucumbers.  I don’t hate ’em.  There is no spit-that-out-it’s-nasty reaction.  I just tend to eat around them in salads.  But, I do love them pickled.  My paternal grandmother’s sweet pickles  are the best in the world, hands down.  But, pickling in general is a new trick I am learning.

I have a coworker who is a pickling god and he has inspired me to experiment.  I have pickled jalapeños and banana peppers and those have turned out well.  (Equal parts vinegar and water, boiling poured into jars stuffed with peppers, lidded and flipped over to seal as they cool.)

A couple of years ago, I saw pictures online of some bitty cucumbers that look like thumb-size watermelons.  On investigation, I learned that they are called Mexican sour gherkins.  I got a packet of seeds and Chuck put them in one of the raised beds this summer.

Two important things to know about these cucumbers.  One, they are climbers.  Two, they will consume your garden given half a chance. They tried to eat the bed they were in and when I tried to lift them up to some bamboo poles that Ursula brought me, they were putting out extra roots.  Next year, they get something to climb on from the beginning.

When I tried pickling them, I didn’t take the tininess into consideration.  I turned them into sweet pickle raisins.  And, no, you cannot use those little rocks for anything.  I think that if I will put boiling sweet pickle solution on them and leave them a little while, they will work.

I did make dill pickles with them and they are tasty.  I stuck a couple of cloves of garlic in a couple of half pint jars that I had filled with whole cucumbers, shook about a tablespoon of dried dill in each one and poured boiling 50% vinegar over them.  A couple of weeks later, I took a jar to my dad and we tried them out.




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Filed under Cucumbers, Preserving

Can’t eat it all.

Romano beans:

Blanched on 9/26 and 10/4

3 minutes in boiling water. Then, into ice water.  Bagged and frozen.


Pickled jalapeños
Sliced and stuffed into ½ pint jars.  Covered with boiling 1:1 cider vinegar and water. Inverted jars to let the heat of the lids seal them.  (I made one that is all red, one that is all green and 3 that have some of each.  They’re very festive.)


Sweet potatoes

Baked, peeled and packed in freezer bags. All the bitty ones and 3 damaged big ones = 5 cups of ready-to-use sweet potato.  There will probably be pie.


Chuck made pesto with a big bunch of the basil we have been growing, garlic, olive oil and walnuts.  We will add Parmesan as it is used.  He froze it in mini-muffin pans that were sprayed with olive oil to keep the balls from sticking.  One ball is about 2 Tablespoons and is usually enough for a cup of quinoa (to suit our tastes).

Our basil grows better in the beds than in a pot.  We tried it in  pot on the deck and got enough to add to recipes, but not enough to harvest for pesto.  The basil plants in the beds become trees and we have all the pesto we want through the winter.  After Chuck gave a pesto-making lesson to my best girl friend and gave her about a fourth,  we had 19 balls made.  And we still have plenty to make more.

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Filed under Herbs, Legumes, Peppers, Preserving, Sweet potatoes