‘Tis the season to begin my Christmas shopping. Every year I try to put a new twist on ensuring my gifts to family and friends are recyclable, compostable or re-usable.
I also take great care in making something each year from scratch — past gifts to family and friends have included dilled green beans, homemade bits and bites mix, and even apple pie filling. My dilled beans were so well received a few years back I decided to give them as my gifts again this year!
I always give “strict” instructions to ensure I get the mason jars back to be used again the following Christmas. About 3/4 of my family and friends returned them to me once their families had finished enjoying the spicy dilled green beans.
This year as an added re-use theme I had my two daughters cut out name tags for all the jars using ribbons I saved from last year. We placed these homemade tags on the jars to encourage family and friends to consider making their Christmas environmentally friendly.
In case you would like to sample my famous dilled green beans, here is the recipe for all to enjoy. If you try them, be sure to let me know how they turn out!
Dilled Green Beans
- 2 lbs green beans
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (per jar)
- 1 clove garlic (per jar)
- 1 head of fresh dill (per jar)
- 2 ½ cups water
- 2 ½ cups vinegar
- ¼ cup of pickling salt
- Wash and trim green beans to fit upright in pint-sized canning jars.
- Sterilize pint jars, lids and rings in a boiling bath.
- Place 1 clove garlic, 1 sprig of fresh dill in each jar and ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper in each sterilized jar. Pack the beans into four hot, sterilized pint jars.
- In a large saucepan over high heat, bring vinegar and water to a boil. Pour over beans to cover.
- Fit the jars with sterilized lids and rings and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.