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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Beans!

     The beans in my garden are coming on fast! I need to get out there and pick them more frequently. So, the other day, I picked a big bowlful, and took out the other beans that were waiting for me in the fridge and began the process of washing, cutting off the stem ends, blanching, and bagging them for freezing.
These are my green and purple beans all washed and cut up waiting to be blanched.

I blanch them in boiling water for three minutes. The handy dandy inner pot is a strainer that just lifts out.

Beans are now cooling off in a very cold water to stop the cooking process and preserve all the goodness and colour. Notice how the purple beans are not purple anymore.


The beans are now in medium sized freezer bags and labelled with the year. I probably have last season's beans still in some bags buried at the bottom of my freezer, so it is best to eat those up first! I squeeze as much air out as possible by tightly folding over the top of the bag before zipping it shut.

     I ended up with 9 and a half full-sized bags (medium size zip freezer bags) which would provide a side dish for one of our meals. One way that my kids really like green beans is in a casserole, the one with the mushroom soup and the French-fried onions. I never used to make that until a few years ago when I clipped the recipe from a magazine advertisement. It is usually a Thanksgiving or Christmas thing. Normally I would just boil them up in a pot and put some butter and salt on them.


     So, as a result of weeding, picking, cutting back the jungle which encroaches our property (we have "fallow" land, i.e. weed filled, on two sides of us, and a neglected overgrown neighbouring yard which is hatching baby walnut trees and wild grape vines at a break neck speed on a third) I developed a very itchy blistery rash on my lower arms and legs. It was even disturbing my sleep, so I ended up seeing a doctor about it and he diagnosed contact dermatitis. This means my skin came in contact with something irritating. I got a prescription for a good anti-itch cream and some recommendations for taking antihistamines. The itch is abated somewhat, but the nasty looking red blistery things are still there. Kind of grosses me out, actually.
     Anyone else have sensitive skin which complains about the plants in which you work?
    

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