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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

SUMMER'S ABUNDANCE FOR WINTER'S SHORTFALL

Good Morning to you, 

 Do you remember, in August, when I showed you some photos of my garden,   I  included  the flowers which were growing on the Runner Bean plant.  I added this photo  as the flowers  were so vibrant and beautiful, I felt they had earned their place amongst the other garden flowers. 
  



Well, the months have passed, my plants have grown and  now I have a plentiful supply of runner beans.


I planted three plants, which were slow to grow because of the constant rain during June and July, but come August they started growing really well and because of this little plant I have an abundance of Runner beans. 




 Each plant has yielded about 1 kilo of Runner beans.

Once I started picking the Runner beans, they grew so fast that I had more than I could use, so I decided to freeze them in portions sizes, enough for us to eat at one meal. 
 
 I selected young, tender beans which I didn't allow to grow too big otherwise they would have become stringy and tough.

  


 I washed them thoroughly, then topped and tailed them (this means, trim each end of the bean). Then cut the beans into good sized pieces.  My Runner beans are chunkier than  Phyllis and Ivy's,  as they tended to cut theirs into a much slimmer shape, which made the beans look more delicate, but George prefers a chunkier bean.  He says this is a "man" sized bean!




 I then blanched the beans.  This is essential as blanching preserves the colour, the flavour and texture of the beans. I used 3 litres of water to every 500g of beans.

Bring the pan of water to a rolling boil and add the beans. I find it easier to add a couple of handfuls  at a time, as this allows the water to return to a rolling boil quickly. 




When 3 minutes has passed, (I would recommend you set a timer as it is easy to be distracted), remove the beans from the pan with a slotted spoon and plunge the beans into a bowl of iced cold water.  I use cold water from the tap then add about 12 ice cubes, this enables the beans to cool quickly to prevent over cooking and to allow the beans to retain their colour. 




Have your freezer bags to hand ready to fill with Runner beans.  Record the date the beans were frozen and add what the bags contain, in this case, Runner beans.




Add the beans to your freezer bags, as much or as little as you prefer, but not more than three quarters full.  I tend to freeze enough for one meal. 

 

Remove as much air as you can from the bag and seal. Your beans are now ready to freeze to enjoy during the winter time. 



I place the beans into the freezer and lay them flat as this helps to freeze them much quicker.  I can stack them once the beans have frozen.

  
And all because of this wonderful flower.... and not forgetting the pollination by the bees.


Now, I want to say,

a big thank you to Linda from Life and Linda who wrote a great post about watermarking photos using PicMonkey. You can find her post here: http://www.lifeandlinda.com/2012/07/watermark-your-photos.html

I wanted to say thank you as watermarking also introduced me to PicMonkey which in turn allowed me to improve my photos. The blogging community is such a generous community, which I am glad to be a part of. If you are a new blogger click on the link and you will be so glad you did. 

I shall be joining,


and


 Enjoy the rest of your week and I will see you soon.  Take care,


Best Wishes



Daphne xxx

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