Monday, March 21, 2022

Menu plan for the week of March 21

 I canned a load of pinto beans the other day, because I had the dry beans, and I'm planning use pinto beans this week.  But now that I have 8 beautiful pint jars of shelf-stable, recipe-ready pinto beans, I kind of want to save them.  It doesn't seem right to use 1/4 of them two days later.

So now, instead of using my convenient canned beans for taco bean soup, which is why I canned them, I'm planning to cook about 1/2 lb of dry pinto beans in a pressure cooker first.  Silly Scarlet.

I have my own method for canning dry beans, but I decided to look up the directions in my Ball Blue Book of Canning to confirm that my beans would be canned safely.  The only difference between my method and Ball's method is that they use approximately 2¼ pounds of beans per quart jar.  Y'all.  I use 2 pounds for four quart or 8 pint jars.  

I follow the Blue Book instructions: soak overnight, rinse, cover with 1" water, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, and I'm telling you: there is no way you would be able to fit 2¼ pounds of beans prepared in this manner, in one quart jar.  The only way you could fit that many beans in that size jar is if you packed them in dry, and even then, I'm not sure they'd fit†.  And then your jar would explode if you tried to can them, because beans expand when they're cooked.

What were/are they thinking? *

Here's what I'm thinking: we should eat food this week.  Here's what's on the menu:

  • Fend for self/Taco bean soup
  • Tacos with all the fixings
  • Spaghetti, green beans
  • Fend for self
  • Pizza, salad
  • Hamburgers or hot dogs, buns, tator tots, grilled veggie (I'll see what looks good when I get to the grocery store)
  • Grilled chicken, salad, veggie (from the freezer)


* * * * *

† I mean, obviously, now I'm going to have to try it.  I'll report back.  If I remember.

* I suspect that they're confused** about fluid ounces, which is a measure of volume, and ounces, which is a measure of weight.  Because commercial cans of beans contain 16 or so fluid ounces, and a pint jar contains around the same amount of fluid ounces, and a pound is 16 ounces, so they figure a pint jar can contain a pound of beans.

** I feel like, as an authority on safe canning techniques, they should not be confused about this.

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