Freezing Green Beans from the Garden

At home Mother and we three girls canned green beans.  I have since certainly canned my share of green beans!  But, in the last few years I have come to remember that my Grandma Neukam would cook up a big "mess"(as she called them) of string beans and then freeze the leftovers for a future meal or for soups and stews.   After purchasing frozen green beans on sale at the grocery I found it was all in how I cooked them as to how they would be received at the dinner table by our family.

I started thinking it would be wise to just freeze assorted sizes of packages of green beans as I picked them for assorted uses instead of the whole big "rig-a-morrow" of canning.

This season I have been doing just that by picking the beans, washing and breaking them, then blanching for 3 full minutes in boiling water*, plunging the beans into ice water, then draining once more.  Finally I package them in assorted sizes of  heavy duty freezer bags and tuck them away into the deep freeze.

* I add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water to help the color and I time the 3 full minutes after the water has resumed a rolling boil.

There are those who prefer it one way or another but for me, this is working out just fine.

To cook the beans as a side dish I fry 3-4 strips of diced bacon until crisp and add 1/2 of a diced onion cooking 4 minutes or so.   Then I add the frozen or thawed green beans to the hot skillet and stir fry 3-4 more minutes in the hot bacon fat.  Next, add about chicken stock to the pan to about a half inch depth, season well, reduce the heat, cover and let simmer about 20 minutes. 

To use in soups or stews just drop the frozen beans into the cooking liquid at the same time you are adding the other vegetables and cook as you normally would.

Much faster and easier than canning! Enjoy!

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