Freezing a Different Kind of Green Bean
I bought a new kind of green bean at the Manitou Beach Farmers’ Market – Rattlesnake Beans, so named for their unique coloration.
I was at the farmers’ market as a vendor, selling my cookbooks and my photographs. When the sale wound down and it was time to start packing up, I went two booths over to a farmer I’d bought tomatoes from the week before. I was looking for some fresh green beans. I wanted some to cook up this week for supper and enough to freeze for later.
What I found were these strange beautiful beans. The farmer snapped one in two and handed me a piece while he chewed on the other. It was crisp and tasty.
The farmer laughed and said when he tells folks the beans are Rattlesnake Beans, the people take a step or two back, like they’re afraid the beans will strike, just like a real rattlesnake. I bought an overflowing quart basket full and brought them home.
I set aside enough for a couple of suppers and decided to freeze up the rest. By doing my own canning and freezing I know exactly what has been added to the vegetables and fruit which is usually nothing.
My blancher was down in the basement, covered in dust and cobwebs. I washed it up and got started. The distinctive markings disappeared when the beans were cooked leaving a luscious looking green.
Here is my “recipe” for freezing green beans:
Rinse the beans, making sure to remove any dirt and debris. Drain in a colander. Cut off both ends and then, if you wish, cut the beans into approximately 2 to 4 inch pieces. Fill the outside part of the blancher (the part without holes) with water, about half way full and bring to a boil. If it is too full, the water will overflow when you put in the beans. Place a quart of green beans, more or less, into the inner part of the blancher (the part with the holes) and slowly, with care, lower into the boiling water. Cook (blanch) beans for 3 minutes. While the beans are blanching, fill a sink or large bowl with cold water, adding ice cubes.
When the 3 minutes are up, gently and slowly lift the beans from the water. Hot water will flow out of the holes, so be careful. Immediately, dump the beans out of the blancher and into the ice water. Add more ice if necessary. Gently stir for a minute or two until the beans have cooled. The ice water stops the cooking action. Drain beans in a colander and then pack in freezer containers or freezer bags. Place in the freezer for a taste of the garden when the snow is flying and summer is months away.