This years garden has not been the most successful.
Some of the tomato plants are dying, my cabbage never headed, and the cucumbers are shriveling. But green beans are going wild.
Thankfully, green beans are a vegetable my kids usually will eat without much coercion. I have always said they were my least favorite veggie. I cannot stand that squeak beans sometimes make against my teeth, but somehow eating them from my own garden has made me a convert they are OK.
We were away for several days, and upon our return, the bean plants were weighted down with more beans than I knew what to do with. One night, Emma, 10, helped me make a delicious saute of beans with bacon, onions, basil and cherry tomatoes.
Unfortunately, my other two were not impressed. So I decided to get the kids to help me make some pickles. They all like pickles, especially Molly, 8, and Clay, 6.
I let all the kids have a paring knife and cut the ends off the beans, trimming only the end that was on the plant. Of course, my younger two were thrilled with the responsibility of using the knife, as Emma usually gets this honor.
I put the few ingredients for the brine into the pot, then the kids dropped the spices and seasonings into the jars. It took us about 15 minutes to complete the whole process, even with three kids in the kitchen.
These are refrigerator pickles, meaning they do not go into a hot water bath to make them stable for the shelf. This recipe makes a relatively small amount, so I expect them to be gone pretty soon. They will be fine in the fridge for a couple of months.
All the kids loved the pickles. Me, too. Other than just eating out of the jar, these would be good to chop and add to a salad or add to a Bloody Mary!
If you have a plethora of beans, try this simple pickle recipe with your gang. If you do not have your own plants, I am sure the farmers market has plenty of beans available.