Sunday, August 23, 2009

Is It Supposed to Take This Long?

At 4:00 I went out to pick beans. Brought 'em in. Gary and I snapped and washed. Put 'em in jars and canned 5 quarts. It took over FIVE HOURS!

Now, to be fair, while they were bubbling away in the pressure canner, I made some freezer pickles. And we watched some Big Bang Theory while working on the beans. But still -- five hours?

Am I doing something wrong? I know these are nice, organic beans. Well, almost organic. Half of them did get one sprinkle of Sevin Dust back when they were tiny plants. They will taste much better than store-bought canned beans, and probably better even than frozen beans. But that's still a long time to work for only five quarts of beans.

Or maybe this is not an inordinate amount of time, and I just don't know what to expect from gardens and canning.


  1. That's why I stopped freezing corn. I really liked doing it, but it was time consuming, the freezer bags cost more each year, we ran the air-conditioner because of the heat from the boiling water, all the water and ice used to cool, etc. I found we could buy the corn on sale with a coupon and be ahead money-wise. (And when you get old, your taste buds don't even notice the difference.)

  2. Your house REALLY seems to hold the heat, doesn't it? If I had to resort to using the air conditioner, then I don't think I could tolerate the work.

  3. Working solo, that sounds about right. I haven't done that much canning, but when I did up applesauce last year, I spent about 4 hours for 5 quarts - and figure the processing time was only 10 min. in a water bath instead of using a pressure canner.

    And then I had to clean the kitchen & dishes up. Ugh. It's much more fun to do the work with a friend.

  4. Sounds right to me, Susan. Beans are slow with that snapping and all. Mom, Maggie and I put up 2 1/2 bushels of corn the other day. It took us 3 hours - including clean-up, and we got 12 quarts. I should say that the Mom had picked the corn earlier in the day, so that's not included in the 3 hours. And also - Mom's been putting up corn, so the containers were sitting out, the stools were in the garage ready to go. Dad installed a stove in the garage years ago for canning, to keep the heat out of the house. There's a deep sink out there too.

    I think you have to can huge amounts to make it worth it and have at least three people working together.