We nearly always grow Scarlet Runner beans and they grow well here in Wellington. Unfortunately the Wellington weather gave them a severe battering yesterday and blew down the poles. (We had a month’s rain in 24 hours!). I raised the poles and made them secure with an anchor to a tree at each end and hopefully they will survive. In spite of that I still managed to get 1.5 pounds (750 grams) of beans off them!
I put some by for today and looked on the Internet to find out how to preserve them. The site that I came across recommended blanching them and freezing them..
So I washed them, and then topped and tailed them and cut them into lengths as shown in the image.
Then I set out to blanch them. This process involves giving them a quick boil and then cooling them equally quickly, so I put on a pot of water and got the ice out of the freezer.
Here the logistics got slightly tricky. I didn’t have a lot of ice so I filled up the sink with cold water and put the bowl of ice in it. The idea was for the cold water to slow down the melting of the ice. I don’t know if this actually works or not.
The second issue was that I couldn’t do all the beans in one hit. I boiled half the beans for the recommended three minutes and then hit a snag. I couldn’t drain them into the sink as it had the ice in it surrounded by water! OK, a spare pan solved that one. I dumped the first lot of beans into the ice and filled the original pan with boiled water from the jug and boiled the second lot of beans for three minutes.
The rule of thumb was for the beans to be chilled for as long as they were boiled, so just when the second lot were done the first lot were scheduled to come out of the ice. I didn’t worry too much about this – I just dumped the second lot of beans in with the first. Most of the ice had melted by then. After another three minutes I drained all the beans and put them into a ziplock bag and here is the result.
Next time, if I get as many beans, I will arranged the ice and boiling water in advance so that I don’t have as many (minor) clitches as this time!