I believe bottling beans is a good skill to have. You never know when these types of skills will come in handy. Some years I do it, some years I don't. But I hold this skill in my pocket and if it ever got to a point where we had to rely on our garden for food, I'm thankful mom taught me how.
Pick the beans, and have your family help you snip the ends off and snap them into bite size pieces.
(If you throw on a good movie, it makes this a pleasant job. See HERE.)
Make sure all the bottles are washed and scrubbed clean. Fill the sink with water to rinse the beans.
Fill the clean jars with rinsed beans right up to the neck. I like to tap the bottles carefully against the counter top to help them settle, then add a few more. Once filled, add 1 teaspoon of salt to each bottle.
Throw the lids into a small pan with just enough water to cover the lids. Heat the water and let the lids boil for just a minute or two, while you fill the jars of beans with hot tap water, about a half inch from the top. Heating the lids makes the rubber seal on the lids nice and pliable and ready to seal to the glass jars.
Place your jars into the pressure cooker. Fill an empty quart jar with water and pour into the bottom of the cooker. Put the lid on, making sure it is very tight, and turn the heat on high.
Make sure the exhaust lever is straight up, and wait for it to get hot enough that steam comes out of the exhaust mechanism. Let it exhaust good (blow steam) for about 5 minutes.
I tried to capture the steam escaping in both pictures, but you just can't see it!
After 5 minutes, flip the exhaust lever down to begin the pressure build up in the cooker.
Watch the gauge as the pressure builds up to 13 pounds, and carefully adjust the heat to keep it there. Once it reaches 13 pounds, set your timer for 25 minutes.
Pull up a chair and sit right in front of your stove in order to watch it carefully and keep it right at 13 pounds pressure. Grab a snack, listen to music, but trust me and do NOT instagram!!! I learned the hard way and glanced up to see the gauge entering the dark caution area!!!
Just think of this time in front of your stove as a nice 25 minute snack break, glued to the gauge.
My snack of choice... dehydrated apple slices. YUM!
Maybe listen to music or a book on CD.
Once your timer beeps, turn the heat off and you are free to walk away. Leave the pressure cooker alone and let it cool and return to zero pounds pressure. Once there, open it, lift the jars out and set onto a towel on the counter. It's important to not bother those jars for about 12 hours. Let them sit in peace, while you listen for the "pop sound" of the jars as they seal! It's like music to your ears!!!
Then be proud of yourself!
Look at you go in your self reliance!
Go buy yourself a Big Hunk, you deserve it!
What I learned:
Any social media has NO PLACE in the bottling experience! (Refer to the sixth step)