Tonight after the last water ballet performance we hop in the car and drive south. The car packed, our phones loaded with music and audio books for the ride, and a tiramisu made by the man who claims to have invented tiramisu chilling in the freezer bag, we are ready to hit the road. To say this week in Morehead is eagerly anticipated would be the understatement of the century.
For most of the week it’ll just be Dan, myself, and Paps. Ryan and his girlfriend Erin will drop by earlier in the week, and I’m hoping my sister Lauren and my stepmom will come later in the week. But mostly I’m looking forward to a week of reading, diving, relaxing, swimming, and running. And, of course, sitting on the porch, looking at the marsh, and drinking bloody marys. Which is exactly why, in addition to making a big batch of bloody mary mix, I pickled green beans and carrots. Because nothing is better than a bloody mary full of pickled green beans, okra, carrots, and garlic. And nothing is better than drinking a chunky bloody mary full of pickles while sitting on the porch watching the egrets fly by.
Pickled Green Beans
4 pounds of fresh string beans
6 pint size canning jars with lids and bands
3 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
3 1/2 cups water
6 tbsp red pepper flakes
12 cloves garlic
2 tbsp salt
6 tsps whole mustard seeds
6 tsps whole cumin seeds
Begin by sterilizing your jars. About an hour before you want to can fill two large pots with water. I recommend that you have some canning equipment, at the very least a large pot with a rack and a pair of tongs. You’ll need a separate pot for sterilizing your jars and lids. Bring both pots of water to a boil. In one pot (the one without a lid) place your jars and the lids (not the screw bands). Allow them to boil for at least 10 minutes, but keep them in the pot until right before you fill them.
In a non reactive sauce pan heat vinegar, water, and salt.
Clean the green beans, but leave them whole. In each sterilized jar, place two cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, and as many green beans as you can pack in tightly. Ladle vinegar mixture into each jar, leaving about 1/4″ headspace. Wipe the rim down, place a clean lid on each jar, and screw band on tightly. Process in your large pot (with rack) for 10 minutes. Remove from water, give the band another squeeze, and allow to sit. Once the jars have sealed (you’ll know if you can’t pop the lid up and down), set them in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks. They will stay for up to a year.