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Canning Green Beans

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Laurie
To: phaedrus
Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2004 8:34 PM
Subject: canning green beans

> My daughter in law told me that the new cooking techniques indicate you
> CAN home can green beans in a hot water bath.  She stated that you only 
> need to hot water bath them for 35 minutes.  I may be from the "old school" 
> but I was under the understanding that they MUST be pressure canned because 
> of food borne botulism.  I can't find anything on the web about the dangers 
> of not pressure canning.  Please help before she feeds these to my grandkids!
> Thank you
> Laurie

Hi Laurie,

I checked dozens of state extension service sites, which is the best place to look for the latest canning information. ALL of them say that green beans MUST BE PRESSURE CANNED. Your daughter is courting disaster. Have her call your local state extension service and ask them what they think about 35 minutes boiling water bath for green beans. Or, tell me what state your daughter lives in and I'll find your state's extension service canning information.

Below are some excerpts and a post that I found on a message board. If you want to really scare her a bit, have her read this:
Oregon State
It's about beets, but the same thing applies. Both beets and beans are low-acid vegetables and must be pressure canned for safety.

Excerpts from canning sites:

"This is the only safe method, since a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure gives a temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much higher than the 212 degrees Fahrenheit of boiling water," she says. "This high temperature is necessary to destroy the spores of the dangerous bacteria that can cause botulism."

Food safety tip: The level of acid in green beans is very low. Keep in mind when canning greenbeans, a pressure canner is a must. A boiling water bath for processing does not get hot enough to kill bacteria. By not heating the beans enough, you create an atmosphere that is just right for botulism. Sources: Ohio State University Extension

Green beans and other vegetables are low-acid foods. They do not contain enough acid to be safely canned in a boiling-water bath. Green beans must be pressure-canned for a specific period of time to avoid the possibility of the food-borne illness botulism. Botulism is caused by heat-resistant spores of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. The spores are not destroyed by the 212F temperatures of boiling-water bath canning. Canning at 10 pounds of pressure raises the temperature to 240F, which is high enough to destroy the spores if the pressure is maintained for the recommended time Kansas State University

"There's been plenty (most, in fact) of people who ate boiling water bathed canned green beans and never become ill from them. Heck, *I've* eaten them and never become sick.
At one and the same time though most people who play the lottery will never hit the big jackpot either and for the same reason. The odds that you'll either hit the jackpot or be poisoned by botulism are very, very low. Should wild chance act in your favor in the lottery you'll be rich. Should it do the same for the green beans you'll be lucky if all you are is dead. If you're unlucky you'll spend months in the Intensive Care Unit and more months or years in physical therapy trying to regain what you lost before your fateful date with a jar of poisoned beans.

A three hour boiling water bath and a good jar seal will kill anything in the beans BUT the heat resistant spores of the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Now with any given jar of beans processed in the above manner there may not be any such spores in it, or if there are something may prevent them from breaking open and producing live botulinum bacteria. On the other hand there just might be viable spores in that jar and if the seal is *good* (meaning air tight) then the beans inside will now be in an anaerobic (meaning very low oxygen) atmosphere which those botulinum spores need to produce live bacteria. In that case within a few hours to days they'll break open, produce live bacteria and the bacteria will begin to produce lethal poison.

Fortunately both the live botulinum bacteria (not the spores) and the poison are susceptible to heat and will die or break down when boiled for ten to fifteen minutes. The reason the USDA and the extension services recommend boiling even your pressure canned beans is because people make mistakes and the boiling before serving suggestion is just another way to lower the risk even further. "



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Brenda" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 2:24 PM
Subject: Capers

Hi there! Can you tell me what "capers" are? I see this term often in
recipes. Thank you for your help.


Hi Brenda,

Capers are the pickled flower buds of a bush native to the Mediterranean and some parts of Asia, "Capparis spinosa". The fruits of the plant are also pickled and used in Spain and other places. The buds develop quickly, and some become ripe every day. The ripe ones must be picked off daily, which makes capers rather expensive. The ripe buds are then sun-dried and pickled in a vinegar brine. Fresh capers are not used. Capers only develop their unique flavor when pickled. This flavor is due to the formation of capric acid during the pickling process. Roquevaire in Provence in France is known as the "caper capital".


Paprika Dessert

----- Original Message ----- 
From: connie
To: phaedrus
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 8:53 AM
Subject: paprika dessert

> Hey Uncle Phaedrus,
> Would you be able to help me locate a dessert recipe where paprika is a
> main flavor?  I've searched google to no such luck but found you, so it 
> has been a fruitful search so far!  I'm hoping that it would be a cream, 
> pie or cake type of recipe.  Candied nuts or fruits--that doesn't seem 
> to be much of a challenge.
> Thanks Uncle!
> Connie

Hi Connie,

See below. Best I can find. Challenge? Is this a school assignment?


Paprika Cake

1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 teas. Lemon Extract
1/4 teas. Orange Extract
4 Eggs
3 Cups Flour
5 teas. Baking Powder
1/2 teas. Salt
3 teas.  Paprika
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Crushed Pineapple, drained
1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut
1 Cup Golden Raisins
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Cream butter, sugar and extracts. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well
after each addition. Add milk and beat for 2 min. Add the dry ingredients
and beat well. Fold in pineapple, coconut, raisins and walnuts. Pour into
greased 13x9" pan, and bake at 350F for 50-60 minutes. Cool and frost with
plain vanilla frosting of choice.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "dee" 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 7:53 AM
Subject: recipe for stubbed cabbage/holupki

please see if you can locate this Slovak recipe for me.  Thank you for your

Hello Dee,

The below recipe came from a Slovak Grandmother.


Holupki or Polena Kapusta or Cabbage Rolls

  Sauerkraut, 1 lb. bag
  1 - 2 heads of cabbage
  1 lb ground beef
  1 lb Grd pork
  1 lb. bacon diced
  2 c rice raw or instant
  1 onion chopped
  1/2 teasp salt
  1/2 teasp pepper
  1/2 teasp paprika
  4 cloves of garlic minced
  1 c. water
  1c. Tomatoe Juice
  1 teasp thyme

Mix all above together the night before (exclude sauerkraut &  cabbage)
Chill in frig overnight

Next day scald cabbage leaves till limp - use only the large ones


Take a handful of meat mixture place in cabbage roll up folding sides in to
hold meat in.

Place in large pan layered with the rest of cabbage (shredded) & sauerkraut
under & over each layer.

Add water and Tomatoe Juice over rolls

Cover & cook slowly 1 1/2 - 2 hours add more juice or water to keep moist if

Serve with boiled potatoes & beets with onions & vinegar & crusty rye bread

Refrigerator Pickles

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Vonna"
To: phaedrus
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2004 9:02 AM
Subject: refridgerator pickles

looking for recipe for refridgerator or freezer pickles. Have surples of
pickles but not enough to make large  batch of pickles. Vonna

Hello Vonna,

See below for 3 recipes.


 Refrigerator  Pickles

 Ingredients :
 1 gal. cucumbers, sliced, do not peel
 3 onions, sliced
 3 c. sugar
 3 c. vinegar
 1 tsp. mustard seed
 1 tsp. dried mustard
 1 tsp. turmeric
 1 tsp. celery seed
 1/4 c. salt

 Preparation :
   Heat syrup ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Pour over cucumbers and
 onions in gallon jug.  The longer you refrigerate the better they
 are.  Keep in the refrigerator.
 Bread  And  Butter  Refrigerator  Pickles

 Ingredients :
 6 c. sliced cucumbers
 1 c. sliced onion
 1 c. sliced peppers
 2 tbsp. salt
 2 c. sugar
 1 c. vinegar
 1 tsp. celery seed
 1/2 tsp. mustard seed

 Preparation :
   Put in a gallon jar.  Mix together.  Put in refrigerator.  Stir
 once for several days to dissolve sugar.  Will keep for 1 year in
 Refrigerator  Dill  Pickles

 Ingredients :
 2 tbsp. pickling salt
 1 tbsp. sugar
 Pinch of alum
 1 clove garlic, cut in pieces

 Preparation :
   Per quart jar, put in 1-2 pieces of dill.  Fill with cubes of
 pickles.  Add 1/2 cup vinegar.  Fill with cold water.  Put lid on.
 Shake 1 or 2 times a day; leave on counter.  Then refrigerate for 2


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