Several already commented that they don’t like beans. We love beans! Pinto beans are my very favorite but there’s not a bean I don’t like. Yes, I’m fully aware that I can buy cans of pinto beans or baked beans at the store. I can also buy a can of tomato soup or I can make homemade tomato soup that I think tastes a whole lot better! Just like you can buy a “quilt” at most department stores for $50, or you can make one for way more than that! I think home canned tastes a lot better and I know exactly what ingredients are used. Or I can buy storebought, and sometimes I do . . and we all eat it and never complain.
There are many blogs I follow, mostly it’s homemakers and moms who think the way I think and do similar things that I do. Last week I had washed my pinto beans and let them soak and was going to blog about it and I clicked on the Creative Chicks at Play blog and wouldn’t you know it . . Emily was blogging about canning pinto beans. I said . . well, I’m not going to blog about it because it will look like I’m copying what she’s doing. Same thing happened a while back when Chickens in the Road blogged about bean sprouts. I can’t tell you how many times CJ and I blog about the same thing at almost the same time.
I don’t mind making pinto beans from scratch for dinner without using canned beans because I can cook them in the pressure cooker quickly. But I think they taste better when I can them and let them sit in the spices for a while. Then, it is so nice to be able to open a jar and just heat them up without having to cook them. For baked beans, because they take so long to make, I almost never make them just when I need them. I try to keep a good supply of them ready to use.
For both of these, I try to get it all done before summer because these take a lot of cooking time and once tomatoes start getting ripe, there’s no time to can much of anything except tomatoes. We eat at least 2 quarts of pinto beans and 1 pint of baked beans most every week. The good thing though is that they aren’t like tomatoes in that you have to can them all at once . . when they’re ripe! I can can 14 quarts of beans now and another 14 quarts when my supply is getting low. Same with the baked beans.
Here’s the last batch I did. There are 14 quarts of pinto beans and 9 pints of baked beans. My canner holds 7 quarts or 20 pints. Normally I make a double batch of baked beans so I can have 18 pints and I make a double batch of pinto beans so that gives me 14 quarts. Of course, it never comes out perfectly so whatever jars don’t fit or get filled, we have for dinner in the next day or so. Remember that I don’t measure too well so use these recipes as a guideline.
For the Pinto Beans:
Start with 8 cups of dry beans, rinsed very well. Place beans in a large pot and cover with at least 2″ of water. Bring to a boil and let boil, uncovered for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from heat (but do not drain), cover and let sit for 1 hour. Drain, rinse again with cold water. Cover with at least 2″ of water. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Continue boiling uncovered for about 30 minutes. Stir often so they don’t stick. At this point, you can add whatever seasonings you like. I had a lot of cumin. I’ve never measured but I’m thinking 3 tablespoons?? I’ll pay more attention next time.
Here . . I’ll figure you know the basics of canning. Pack beans and liquid into jars, leaving 1″ of head space. Note: I only fill the jar about 3/4 full of beans and then fill with liquid, leaving the 1″ head space. This way your beans will have plenty of juice and will not be dry. To the quart jars, I ad 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro, 1/2 of a seeded jalapeno pepper and a clove of garlic I’ve sliced in half. Kinda stir those things around a bit and make sure all the air is out of the jar. Clean the tops well, place the lids and rings on. Process quarts at 10 pounds pressure for 1-1/2 hours. Yep . . it takes a long time.
Since I’m making 2 batches, I keep the remaining beans in the pot and heat them up just before time to put them in jars to put into the canner. Do not put them in the jars and allow them to sit and cool before you put them into the canner.
For the Baked Beans:
2 pounds navy beans, rinsed well
1/2 pound salt pork
3 large onions (nice when you can get Vidalias)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2/3 cup molasses
The original recipe says to chop the onions but even Vince picks the onions out so I put them in the food processor and . . poof . . can’t find them any more!
Place beans in a large pot and cover with at least 2″ of water. Bring to a boil and let boil, uncovered for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from heat (but do not drain), cover and let sit for 1 hour. Drain, rinse again with cold water. Cover with at least 2″ of water. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Reduce heat. Cover and continue to gently simmer until skins begin to crack or loosen. Drain but save the liquid. Pour beans into a large covered oven proof pan or bean pot. Add pork and onions. Stir in remaining ingredients and 4 cups of bean liquid. If you’re short on liquid, add water. Cover and bake at 350º for 3-1/2 hours. Add more bean liquid or water if necessary. Beans should be soupy. Pack beans in pint jars, leaving 1″ headspace. Remove air and clean edges well. Place rings and lids on jars. Process pints at 10 pounds pressure for 1 hour, 20 minutes.