Okay, I guess you can figure out that I’m canning dry beans, huh? Well it started out pretty innocently yesterday when I thawed out the two hams I bought for .69 a pound to can. I cut them up, packed them in pint jars, pouring boiling ham broth from the bones and scraps over them to within an inch of the top. But then I had all this nice ham broth and got an idea. I have a LOT of dry beans that are getting older. And when that happens, they don’t like to soften up when you cook them, like they would if they were fresher. But when you can them, they end up perfect.
So I dumped out about 2 pounds of dry Great Northern beans into a bowl, sorted a few rocks and sticks out of them, then rinsed them well. After draining, I put them in a large stock pot and filled it to within three inches of the top with water. After boiling them for 20 minutes, I put the lid on and let them stand for 2 hours while the first batch of ham finished processing. In the meantime, I cut up the second ham.
I was going to just make beans with ham broth, but I changed my mind as my baked beans are running low. So when the beans were soaked, I strained off the water and kept it hot. Then I dumped the beans into my turkey roasting pan and added a quart of tomato sauce, two pounds of crumbled bacon (on sale for .50!),molasses, brown sugar, onion and garlic powder and dry mustard. I mixed it all up, then set it on the wood stove to heat to boiling again, having added bean broth to keep it from scorching.
This I packed 2/3 full into pint jars and filled them to within an inch of the top with the tomato/bean broth.
I ended up with 15 pints of baked beans and 20 jars (pint and half pint) of ham! I was so excited that I did pintos today, seasoned with bacon, chili powder, garlic and onion powder and a pint of tomato sauce. So in two days, I had 28 pints of beans and 20 jars of ham. Oh so cool! Okay you sharp people, you say I should have had 29 pints of beans. Yeah. I would have except that when I was putting them on my pantry shelves, I DROPPED one of the jars on the basement floor. CRASH!!! @#%(*%^#$(#(#(#%&^)$##@#% Oh well, 28 pints….. And I had a mess to clean up. But it was baked beans and oh my how good they smelled!!!
Hopi Pale Grey seeds “out of stock”
Hi Jackie,Just wanted to let you know that Baker Creek is out of the Hopi Pale Grey seeds. I just received my order to day and they told me that they were sorry but they are out. So if you know anywhere else I can find these wonderful seeds please let me know. Thank you so much for the advice on breaking my cow. I am building a pen so I can have fresh milk.
Varnville, South Carolina
EEEEKkkkk! Okay, I took a deep breath. Try SEED DREAMS, P.O. Box 106, Port Townsend, WA 98368 (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) for a quick update on availability. If you can’t find them elsewhere, let me know and I’ll send you some. I think it’s very important to keep this nearly extinct ancient squash growing! By the way, I ordered some Hopi Pale Grey seed from Baker Creek to keep my squash’s genetic diversity balanced. I haven’t gotten my order back, but I’ll bet I’m minus my seed, too. — Jackie
Growing Hopi Pale Grey seeds
A little over a year ago one of your readers was kind enough to send me Hopi Pale Gray squash seeds. I was not able to grow them last summer, but I want to this summer. Is there anything special I need to know about growing these? Also, does it matter if I grow other squash nearby or should I only grow the Hopi this year? I usually grow yellow squash and zucchini.
Hopi Pale Grey is a Cucurbita maxima, so don’t plant any other squash of this species. Summer squash is nearly all C. pepo, so you can grow that, as well as winter squash of the other species, C. mixta, C. argyrosperma or C. moschata. These different species won’t cross.
Hopi Pale Greys are very easy to grow and have rampant, productive vines. Give ’em plenty of water, compost and sunshine, and watch them grow. They don’t like "wet feet" however, so if your garden area tends to be damp, put them in raised hills. Great growing this year! — Jackie
Sandhill Preservation catalogs
Jackie, are you familiar with http://www.sandhillpreservation.com/index.html. They have seeds,
roots, and poultry. I can vouch that their poultry is excellent quality.
Boone, North Carolina
Yes, I am familiar with the Sandhill Preservation catalogs. I haven’t personally bought from them, but am excited by the number of heritage breeds/varieties they have available. I sure will buy from them in the future. — Jackie