Saturday, February 5, 2011

We ate home-canned greenbeans and lived to tell about it.

Last night we took the leap of faith.

We ate green-beans.

And I'm here to report that we have not died from botulism.

Food at the farmer's market was so cheap last year that I took to canning my own vegetables to save some dough on foodstuffs. I can't endorse the Muskegon farmer's market nearly enough for the seasonal variety of foods they have, and the excellent pricing which often rivals grocery prices...much moreso if you spend some time wandering up and down the aisles pricing out the things you want or if you're into buying "seconds" or vegetables and fruits that are slightly discolored, mis-shapen, have spots. I have no problem with that, so I generally go in for the half bushel of seconds for absurdly low pricing. The Muskegon farmer's market has some organic farmers who go there, but there is also a year-round organic farmer's market in Muskegon called the Sweetwater Local Foods Market, which is located in the Hackley Health center on Harvey rd. near the mall.

I've canned fruits and high acid foods for years: tomatoes, applesauce, peaches and whatnot. But this is the first year I ventured into using a pressure canner and canning low acid, low sugar foods like green-beans, beets, and peppers. I made sure to follow the guidelines of the National Center for Food Preservation, a joint venture between the University of Georgia and the USDA...and of course tried to heed all the warnings about botulism, and ended up reading up on botulism and what a horrible, vile, nasty, way to die it is...

...and my low-acid foods sat in jars in the basement for months looking very pretty, and, I imagined, were probably silently squirming with botulinum toxin.

We ate the tomatoes, and the pears, and made headway on the million jars of apple-sauce I made...we ate the high acid pickled peppers and the sauerkraut and the plums and peaches and the jams and jellies and the pickled watermelon rinds...

But the beets and the green-beans sort of sat un-used.

Until last night.

I popped open an innocent looking jar of green beans, boiled the heck out of them for several minutes (which apparently nutralizes the boulinum toxin if it's there at all), and....

...we ate them. In a white sauce with onions and carrots on spaghetti.


To make a long story short, we're still alive. None of us is in a state of toxin related paralysis.


esp said...

:) Told 'ya.

Soon you'll be fearlessly canning chicken and beef stock. Nothing stretches the grocery budget more than home canned bone stock!

Muskegon Critic said...

I should have credited your words of canning support ad encouragement :D

Anonymous said...

Not a big fan of canned vegetables having being spoiled by growning up on a farm. Love to freeze veggies though and you are right, there are some great deals at the farmer's markets. I would even pay grocery store prices for that produce as it is fresher....pssst..don't tell the farmers I said that.