In the middle of February what do you can? If you were a pioneer, your choices would be so limited. While farmers markets aren’t going to have them, the green beans at my store were looking quite good. . .
Do you like the occasional Bloody Mary, or spicy pickled beans? Or do you just want to try something very simple yet sophisticated? Try Dilly Beans. I’ve found several versions of these spicy green beans (although you can use wax beans and probably purple beans too) and most agree on a couple things:
First, in each pint of Dilly Beans, you use 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 to 1 head of dill, and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Second, you pack them fresh into hot jars, trimming the ends and packing tightly so that they stand up straight.
Third, you use a hot vinegar-salt brine. The brine I like best uses 6 tablespoons pickling salt, 3 cups of vinegar (I’m using white, although you could use cider or a specialty vinegar to impart a different flavor) and 2 cups of water. This amount should pickle about 4-5 pounds of green beans and yield around 5 pints of Dilly Beans.
Last, pour the hot brine over the fresh-packed beans, screw on hot lids and seals, and process in water bath canner for 10 minutes at sea level, 15 minutes at 5000 feet.