"ONE dollar?!" I stood in the aisle of the scratch and dent grocery, my eyes bugging out of my head.
Stacked on the floor were large ten pound bags of pinto beans, with the bright green sticker announcing the incredibly low price of $1.00
Still wondering what I was going to DO with all those beans, I took two bags, talking myself out of three. I may go back and get it. I mean, when was the last time YOU bought dried beans for .10 a pound?
I read an article last week that stated "cheap food is a thing of the past". I have noticed, even at my super thrifty Amish grocery store, that prices are rising. So I am planning ahead, getting ready for our 'meatless Monday meals'. Beans are a great way to accomplish this.
As an aside, keep in mind that if you combine beans and rice (brown rice, preferably organic) that you have a complete protein. Just sayin'.
Back to the beans. Ten pounds of dried beans will come out to 28 pints of canned beans. You heard me right - comes out to 2.8 cents PER JAR! Lids are about .12 cents each. Still at under .15 cents per jar! Wow.
But really, 28 pints of plan beans? B.O.R.I.N.G.....
Ah, in comes my trusty Amish cookbook. How about canning beans with molasses sauce? Or with tomato sauce? Add some cut up hot dogs and process according to meat times and voila - you have dinner!
Check out some links with recipes for canning dried beans:
'Baked' Beans with Pork - Note - When I make this, I will skip the actual 'baking' and layer the jars - beans (1/2 jar full), meat, sauce.
Beans with Molasses or Tomato Sauce
My under-the-stairs pantry. Almost full...
The first year I learned to can, I started out with pickles.
They were terrible.
The second year, I followed my mother-in-law's instructions and made V8 juice.
It was a hit.
Now, five years later, I've graduated to flipping through 70 year old cookbooks and online blogs to discover ideas to use in my own pantry.
This year's sure-to-be-a-hit recipe is the fruit canned in a vanilla, cinnamon, clove sugar syrup. I started with plums, and will be moving on to a half bushel of peaches.
I received my inspiration from Mostly Foodstuffs recipe for canned plums. To make the recipe my own, I did the following:
Simple Syrup -
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
2 tbsp vanilla
Bring to a boil.
Poke a few holes in each plum (gently now). In each pint jar, squish as many plums as you can fit, it's okay if they start to get a little mushed. Using the tip of your paring knife, add a pinch of powered cinnamon and cloves to each jar. Add 2 tablespoons of brandy to each jar. Pour the boiling syrup over the jars, wipe the rims, then cap and screw on your band.
Put in a canner of boiling water to cover the jars and process for 20 minutes. Any jar that doesn't seal in 24 hours goes into the fridge, use it within 2 weeks.
I'd love to hear YOUR summer real food stories. Jump onto the facebook page and share a picture or an anecdote!