Thursday, August 8, 2013

Home made baked beans! (Without the baking!!)

I grew Cannelloni beans this year for the first time for the purpose of making our own baked beans and today I actually managed to make some! The first 4 jars have been processed in my pressure canner I got second hand from the USA. I could not find a recipe for using fresh beans so I sort of made it up! I just chucked loads of chopped tomatoes into a pan and started to boil them down so that they were a little thicker and also chopped up an onion and a few cloves of garlic and gently fried them before adding to the beans. I also added a bit of dried mustard powder and black pepper and a tiny bit of salt. It looks like it came out ok, however maybe I should use the sauce a little runnier. I did not bake the beans, I just boiled them for about 15 mins before combining them all in a pan before filling the jars. I am really looking forward to trying these this winter with some of our lovely baked potatoes!

I planted the beans into deep cells and started them off in the greenhouse and then planted them out when they were about 20cm tall. I think that next year I will make some sort of device to help hold the beans up as they toppled over when they were loaded with beans. This has not been good for airflow around the pods and plants. I have a second lot I planted directly into the ground, but I think I will not be getting many pods from them as the season is just not long enough to grow these sort of beans. Maybe I will put a mini tunnel over them later on when it gets colder. The pods seem to need to be cream colour if you want the beans to be white although I used some which were a bit green! Once they are cooked in the canner they sort of go brown like tinned baked beans!

It has been a good experiment and I think I will do them again but with wider spacing, plenty of mulch to keep down the weeds and some sort of support. I am also wondering if I can cook the fresh beans in the tomatoes as they are reducing, this may make them take on a really strong tomato taste! Next batch I will experiment a bit more....

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