I grew up in a household where Mom was constantly pickling and canning, so that we had access to delicious foods year-round.  Recently, I’ve become interested in pickling again - and what better recipe to start with than Mom’s amazing pickled beans?  I’m about to disappear into the kitchen and pickle ten pounds of green beans, so I thought I’d share the (incredibly simple) recipe with the intarwebs.  (Lucky for you, eh?)

My Mom’s Dilly Bean Recipe:

Wash and sterilize 6 pint jars and lids.  Wash and break off both ends of 3# of beans.

Put into each sterilized, hot jar:

  • lots of garlic (two or three cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 dill head or 2 Tablespoons dill seed (I think I use only 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seed
  • (I also often put in a small hot pepper, when I've got 'em)

Fill each jar with your prepared beans.

While filling jars with beans, bring to boil:

  • 4 cups vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • 7 Tablespoons salt.  (Add salt when this mix is almost boiling so the salt doesn’t sink to the bottom of the pan.)

When your jars are full of garlic, etc. and as full as possible with beans, fill each jar with boiling vinegar, water, and salt to very, very top of jar.  Screw on hot sterile lids, tighten lids, and invert and place on dry towel away from drafts.

Keep inverted until cool, then set upright.  Lids will seal as jar cools, and you'll hear random popping noises as this happens.

You should know that sometimes the garlic turns green--that's perfectly okay :)

The beans will be delicious after a month, and they'll be fine for a couple years.  The longer you wait, the milder they'll be--the ones we had at my graduation party had been canned for about 8 months, and at the two/three month mark Jordan didn't like them because he felt they were too spicy.  So if they're too spicy, patience is the answer :)