Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dilly Beans

I ask you:  why is it that the shorter days of late-summer seem to come on so much faster than the longer days of spring?

I'm not sure what the answer is, but lately I've felt I've barely been able to keep up -- with work, with cleaning, with the yard, with the garden, with family, with most everything! I long to be outside whenever I can to enjoy the green and the sun and the lushness of the NY summer, yet I'm finding that the days seem to blow by with seemingly little getting crossed off my To-Do list each day.

Thanks to the little guy, we have a candid glimpse of what
his Mama looks like to him while she's working!
I guess it is just a cost of the type of life we've chosen since we moved here. In order to have the pantry and freezer shelves full, there is always something to weed, harvest, clean or preserve.

If we want to have four acres of property to play on and enjoy, there is always something to mow or trim.

In order to have fresh eggs to cook with, there will always be chickens to tend.

I'm not saying I don't enjoy the ways my days are spent; quite to the contrary actually, as I feel richer and happier with my time than perhaps ever before. I just am realizing that my "free" time is now filled in advance. I've chosen to prioritize things whose time-costs are not just in the immediate moment.

This home I'm making isn't just about what I'm doing now, it's also about how what I'm creating impacts how time will be spent building and maintaining it in the future.

I guess reading back on that statement, it sounds pretty obvious, something that most people just move into as they "grow up". For me though, I'm apparently just figuring this all out and these verbalized realizations are good for me.

See? I feel better about this passage of time already! I just need to change the wording of my To-Do list!

That all said, one of the things I've spent some of this fast-passing-time with lately is beans.

I planted a short row of green beans in the garden, and they've produced wonderfully for us. We can pick nearly every third day or so enough to eat fresh with dinner or freeze for the winter, and this had been going on for at least three weeks already. The last batch we picked I decided to preserve a different way:  Dilled.

Here's what I did:

  • Washed and Trimmed beans to fit in cleaned jars with 1/2" head space.
  • Added one clove of garlic, 1/8 tsp of red pepper flakes and 1 tsp of dill seed to each jar.
  • Boiled together 2 1/2 c white vinegar, 2 1/2 c water and a heaping 1/4 cup of kosher salt.
  • Once my hot water canner was boiling and ready to go, I added the brine to each jar, still leaving 1/2" head space.
  • Processed them 5 minutes at a rolling boil.
They need to sit at least two weeks to dill-ify, at which point I'll let you know how they turn out!


In other local happenings:

We had a fantastic trip to Wisconsin to attend the wedding of a great friend from Palmer. Below are just a few shots from our "loooonnnggg trip", as it has come to be known as.

Our first rest area stop -
somewhere just inside PA.

Checking out the new DVD player from
GramE - a looonngg trip life saver!

On the playground.

Our friend Tyler and his mini-me, OR
The Bug with his giant-me!

Reading on the hotel bed with friends.

The groom playing music at his own wedding, next to the
new-mom and reverend Geisz.

Playing outside a restaurant near
Kalamazoo, MI on our way home.