If you find yourself with too many green beans, here’s a way to enjoy the crunchy goodness of fresh green beans all winter long: make some Dilly Beans.

It’s the time of year when gardeners have pretty much exhausted their repertoire of recipes that incorporate their garden bounty.

If you find yourself with too many green beans, here’s a way to enjoy the crunchy goodness of fresh green beans all winter long: make some Dilly Beans.

I made some back in August, and even though the recipe says to wait three months before you open them, curiosity got the better of me last week. After all, I didn’t want to store them for the next several months if they weren’t any good, right?

They were a hit, and now I find myself preparing to make another batch.
Even if you are not familiar with canning, this recipe is not at all difficult and takes just some basic knowledge of preserving.

You will need canning jars, lids and rings, and a hot water bath canner. If you don’t own a canner, you can usually find one to borrow. They aren’t too expensive –– you can pick one up for under $25, or better yet, check the local thrift stores.

There are plenty of websites out there that explain the hot water bath process (try freshpreserving.com).

To make the preparation of the beans easier, instead of snipping both ends, I leave the blossom end on and cut only the stem end off. I think it makes the bean more attractive in the jar.

The original recipe calls for a “pinch of alum.” After doing some research, I discovered alum is on the “no longer use” list. Alum was used in older pickling recipes to add crispness and firmness to pickles. But it has been discovered that alum, if consumed in large doses, may cause nausea and/or gastrointestinal problems. So to avoid these possible side effects, I left it out.

This recipe for Dilly Beans made its way into my files in my favorite way: from the mother of a relative’s friend. Shared recipes are the best recipes.

Dilly Beans

3 1/2 to 4 pounds green beans 1 quart white vinegar 2 quarts water 1 cup coarse pickling salt 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper Garlic cloves, peeled Dill flowers

Boil together 3 to 4 minutes. Rinse and snip green beans. Pack tightly into canning jars. Add to each jar: 1 fresh dill flower and 1 clove garlic. Ladle hot liquid over packed beans to 1/2-inch from top of jar. Place hot lid on jar. Twist on ring (hand tight). Boil jars 5 minutes in hot water bath. Remove hot jars and place on towel, making sure jars do not touch. Listen for lids to seal. Store for 3 months before eating. This made 3 quarts and 3 pints.