I don't remember when Mom started making Dilly Beans, but she has as long as I can remember and I've always loved them. My kids really love them. I save them for special occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Birthday's. If I didn't limit them, they'd be gone before fall was over. I don't count these as a vegetable much to my children's dismay.
The recipe is simple and EASY. They can be done with minimal equipment and canning skills. My biggest problem in sharing this recipe is giving a quantity of fresh green beans. When I do them, I just pick my patch of beans, save out the nice straight ones for this and snap and can the rest as regular green beans. Then I do however many quarts of dilly beans as I ended up with straight beans for. :) Yesterday it was 6 quarts.... today I had 4 quarts.
Warning: This vinegar solution is lower in acid that the currently recommended amounts. It is the same recipe as I use for my dill pickles. If that's worrisome, check the Ball Blue Book for current recommendations.
5 lbs of fresh green beans (give or take several pounds of beans)
Snap the ends off of the beans, rinse in cold water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (I use an 8 quart pot). Set beans in boiling water and cook for 5-8 minutes depending on how large & tough the beans are. Drain & cool enough to handle. Pack quart jars with beans and a sprig of fresh dill with developed seeds. Put a pinch of powdered alum in each jar (maybe 1/8th tsp.) I've also started using Ball's Pickle Fresh and it works amazing with keeping pickles from going too soft!
Then fill with the following pickle solution:
1 C. Heinz cider vinegar
3 C. water
1/4 C. salt
Boil for 2 minutes.
Once the jars are filled and rings and lids adjusted, process in a boiling water bath for 10-12 minutes. Let sit on shelf about 6 weeks before using to get the best pickling flavor.
Joy's Notes: If you have a large batch of beans to do you may have to do a few batches of the vinegar solution to fill the jars. One of the above batches fills approximately 2 quarts depending on how tight you pack your beans.