It's that time of year again! Time to start thinking about Christmas gifts and holiday menus! Last year I made several tasty creations in my kitchen and gave them out to friends and family. More great gifts from the kitchen will be coming over the next couple months!
At the request of my mother, I spent an afternoon canning Spicy Dill Beans. I use a recipe that Vancity Rock Girl posted over two years ago. I first canned beans using this recipe before Christmas in 2008. I had labels and little cards with the Mott's Caesar recipe, printed through Vistaprint. I wrapped the jars up all pretty and gave them out to extended family and friends. They were a HUGE hit! I continued to get requests for these tasty beans throughout 2009. Now the supplies are running short and people are in need of more beans! You can't drink a Caesar without a Spicy Dill Bean to garnish! They are also great for munching as a snack. This recipe also works for carrots and asparagus... especially asparagus!
Vancity Rock Girl's Spicy Dill Beans:
Yields 4 pints
2 lbs green beans, trimmed to about 3 1/2 inches
4 red jalapeño peppers, cut in half lengthwise
8 sprigs of fresh dill
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 tbsp mustard seeds
2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 tbsp picking salt
1. See here for instructions on how to prepare jars for canning and here for how to prepare your boiling-water canner.
2. In a large saucepan, mix water, vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Keep warm on the stove top while you finish the next step.
3. To each jar, add 2 garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds, two halves of hot peppers and two sprigs of fresh dill. Tightly pack the beans into each jar.
4. Pour the hot vinegar mixture into each jar and fill, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top. Cover with a hot snap lid and secure with a ring. (You want air & water to be able to circulate during the water bath, so don't tighten the ring too much.)
5. Place jars into boiling water bath canner. Ensure water comes up 1 inch above the top of the jars. Bring to a boil again and process the jars for 10 minutes (15 minutes if above 1000ft elevation). Turn off the heat. Wait 5 minutes before removing jars from water (to stabilize pressure inside jars). Remove jars from water and place them on a towel. Let jars sit, undisturbed, to cool at room temperature overnight. Remove rings, label jars with contents and date, and store jars in a cool, dark place. (If you are giving as gifts, leave rings on, or replace rings just before gifting.) Let sit at least 2 weeks before using.
Check Vistaprint for cheap custom labels and business cards. They have daily deals where you get the printing on several items free and just pay shipping. I have custom printed stationary, envelopes, pens, post-it's, note cards and note pads. It can be quite addictive at first and the products make great gifts!