Thursday, July 14, 2011

Them Beans, Them Beans, Them Blasted Dang Beans

We've got beans.

Man, do I love picking beans. They're so sneaky, the way they blend right in with the stems. (I take my thrills any way I find 'em, these days.)

Tonight we had a big, rowdy table-full for dinner. We had to pop in the extra leaf, which always makes me happy. Three wily Littles + three rascally teenagers = A good night. (And yes, Haven, I just called you rascally. What'ya gonna do about it? Get back to work.)

I've been working like a house on fire, getting myself ready for She Speaks. Will you be there? I need to know. I've nearly written myself cross-eyed and doubted myself to sleep five nights running. So today I decided to take the day off.

But then I packed lunches, took Calvin to have his blood checked, met friends at the park, took all 3 kids with me to my haircut, made dinner for 8, picked beans, did 3 loads of laundry, scrubbed ground-in asphalt from little feet crevices and urged Ruby out of her fleece "feetie" pajamas, and I remembered that there's no such thing as a day off.

Oh well, at least there's hope that I might actually sleep tonight.

While the guys tried to catch a frog after dinner, I snapped beans. Last year was my first official foray into canning and I was feeling over-confident, so I decided to tackle the beans solo. I've never felt more responsible or earth-motherish.

Then I was so busy getting instructions from my mom whilst canning that I forgot to poke the thingy down into the jars to release the villainous air bubbles.

Then the dang canner wouldn't can. Steam was escaping. The jiggler wasn't jiggling.

Stupid beans.

I am presently waiting for the pressure to go down in the hopes that I might remove the lid without blowing my face off. I will then attempt to diagnose the problem, because it's as plain as the nose on my face that I'm an expert in this sort of thing.

I'll keep you posted.

Also? I am still laughing/cringing over your Silas tales. Law. I had no idea his spirit was so far-reaching. Thank you for helping me to put him into perspective. Today, his helpfulness extended to picking 3 green tomatoes and two not-ready beets.

Ah yes, beets! The beets are ready. I need to whip my canner into shape, or I'll be pickled beetless for the winter. And you do not want to see me pickled beetless.


  1. You are something else.
    Something Else : )
    My Grammy used to can things.
    My brother's wife still does.
    I like canners.

  2. Maybe Silas could help you fix the canner? ;) I can't can. That would require I grow something more than kids...and most days I can barely do that. You're brave. Very. Very. Brave. Hope you get to keep your face!

  3. I got a little stressed out when I read the part about taking the 3 kids to get a haircut but compared to the rest of your very productive day that seems like nothing! You impress me!!

  4. I don't know....'Pickled Beetless' sounds like a good read to me! ;)
    I'm SO proud of you! 2 cannerds...oops (I'm gonna leave that just for kicks). 2 canners to my name & NO canning goin' on here!


  5. Hey....Proverbs 31 Ministries!!!
    That's AWESOME!!!!!!!!!
    Congrats! Wish I could go!


  6. Girl...

    Your day with the bean pickin', the 3 loads o' laundry...the extra leaf in the table, the guests for dinner..I was tired just reading it. You shoved a lot into one day!


    Why didn't I know about the She Speaks? It made me wonder- do I just not fully pay attention or what? Hmm...are you going to be a speaker there?

    If so, good for you. I abhor public speaking of any kind, yet had to consistently do presentations as a part of design school and then interior design.

    Go figure.

    YOU deserve a glass of wine or some other beverage of your choice.


    Because you're awesome-sauce!!

    Wishing you the sleep of the angels~



  7. dang beans! don't pester my girl!

    i am always pickled beetless, and happy as a clam to be so.
    hope your canner straightens up and behaves soon!

    also, you are cute. even if you do like pickled beets.

  8. three wily littles and three rascally teens... the story of my life. :) you got your haircut with kids in tow?? you deserve a medal. two years ago i lost 2 canner loads of green beans because of a faulty canner. i think it was the canner. it couldn't have possibly been me. that was 14 quart jars of precious greens! ever since i'm canner shy. we now do freezer beans. hope you are getting a good night's sleep right this very minute!

  9. I took a Purdue Extension course on Food Preservation. After learning how to properly can veggies (and learning that in doing so they are basically cooked to the point of mush) I have vowed to freeze my veggies! It's easier, quicker, and they taste much better!

  10. okay....grew up canning beans with every woman in my family.
    wish I was in GA to help my parents right about NOW with their garden.

    this post stopped me in my tracks when I read that your kids all went with you to your hair appt.

    THAT was relaxing, I bet. :)

    And, beets. I love that eating them makes your pee purple.
    I'm classy, I know.
    the end.

  11. Pickled beets are always something I know I get all to myself because my oldest daughter feels the need to announce to everyone, "THEY MAKE YOUR PEE RED!" Oh well - more for me that way.

    And good luck with the canning thing. I'm trying my hand at it for the first time this year too :)

  12. Have such a wonderful time at She Speaks. It's my dream to go one day. Love green beans.

  13. I used to dispise every part of canning beans as a kid....but boy how things change. I have kids of my own and that is all they want, grandma's canned green beans! I did it (was actually forced to b/c mom was on vaca at the height of the bean season) on my own for the first time last year and it took me a lot of faith, reading my directions 100 times during the process and a pinch of salt! I wish that I could go with you to SC....maybe someday I could be your assistant and then I would have to go and no questions asked! I pray that you find rest.

  14. you have converted me...i now like beets cold and pickled. amen.

  15. I won't be at SheSpeaks, but I live in SC so you'll be close. My FIL and MIL are 82 and 73. They've had a huge garden every year for as long as I've known them. I mean HUGE. Anyway they are getting older and the heat is really bad here in the summer. So last year, my sweet FIL pulled up all the butter bean plants and took them to the shade of their big oak tree and they picked the beans from the plants in the shade! How sweet is that?

  16. Oh, and reading the comments about beets making your pee red/purple had me rolling. My youngest ate asparagus the other day and called me to the bathroom later. "Mama, something smells in here." Ha! It was the asparagus. He learned something new that day and the scene in the movie "Elf" suddenly made sense to him.

  17. i learned to can for the first time last year too....we don't like canned green beans as much as frozen green beans. that makes me have a happy heart because freezing is so much easier.

    we don't have air conditioning in our old farm, so while i was canning on the hottest day of the year last summer (97) because the beans don't care what the temp is inside my house, i was stripped to my skivvy's and franctically calling a few friends to ask them when it would start jiggling?!? i was a sight!! have fun:)

  18. i'm a hot water bath kind of girl (canning of course...) but have thought about hopping into the pressure world. hmmm... jiggling things... sounds kind of entertaining. we have GOBS of green beans this year (YEAH!)... YUM! :) i'm a newbie around here... it's been fun reading up on all your "stuff"!

  19. Beans (and pickled beets) are in my near future too. Although, I don't know about using a pressure canner.

    Tackling that would make me feel like all modern day, earth-motherish.

    However canning a canner of green beans for three hours is too long for when you got baskets of beans a waiting. :)

  20. Shut. Your. Mouth.

    In a week you will be 3 hours from me.



    My heart did a loop-de-loo.

    I had a comment for the blog post, but it has now escaped me.



  21. I'm going to try canning this year. I usually blanche and freeze. But last summer before my Dad got too sick he got me to make some relish under his supervision and I loved it. You are one busy woman, you are amazing! I hope you enjoyed some sleep!

  22. Bless you for using a pressure cooker for your beans. They are the best that way...and I'll preserve everything else, but I've never used a pressure canner, my mom scared the crap outa my sister and I when we were little telling us all about the exploding thing. Bless you. You're doing your family a favor!

  23. This is my first post here. I love the fact that you made me laugh over beans and beets! And I must say, I just have to say I am exhausted, you exhaust me, lol. More power to ya!!!

  24. Did not know you were going to She Speaks. I went a few years ago and it was the most wonderful, exhausting, emotionally intense experience ever. You will love every minute of it. I was thousands of miles from home and did not know a soul and I kept pretty quiet the whole time but just soaked up all the wisdom I could, and I have longed to go back ever since. Maybe next year, but I do get to go to Relevant in October thanks to (in)courage -- are you going to that?

    In any case, enjoy every minute of it!

  25. dude. last night I thought you really needed cheering up...only to find out it was 'dem beans that had ya down.

    It cracked me up. Call me this weekend! :) Can't wait, chickadee!

  26. I didn't realize you were going to She Speaks! Hope we run into each other. Your blog makes me smile (and makes me feel better to know someone else showers while their two year old is strapped down eating breakfast :)

  27. Shannan---did you figure out why you were losing pressure on your canner? Sounds like the one I inherited from my mom, and I had the same problem, which resulted in my needing to replace the rubber gasket from inside the lid. Good luck with yours!

  28. I want to go to She Speaks so badly! You will be in my neck of the woods! I may have to drive over and sneak in just to say hi!

  29. You seriously crack me up. I canned peaches one and it completely exhausted me. You and all your canning inspire me. I'll be at She Speaks this year! Ahhhh, just a few more days!

  30. That should read once. I canned peaches once. And only once.