The time is now! Butter beans are coming out of the fields; these are the smaller more tender beans, as opposed to the larger, tougher lima beans. So…1. Run to your local farmer, or Farmers’ Market if you dwell in a larger city 2. Grab several quarts of shelled beans (trust me, you don’t want to shell them) and 3. Get your freezing game going. On the cold dreary days of winter…yes, it will get cool then cold again, and I can’t WAIT…you will be so happy that you froze these local gems. They will be available for another three weeks in the south and a bit longer in more northern areas; so the time is plentiful! For planning purposes: I froze 22 quarts yesterday and it took roughly two and a half hours. Part of the beauty was that I was rocking to my favorite Pandora stations in my 68 degree kitchen (yep, that’s right, 68 degrees!) while some
idiots great folks were running around outside in the 100 degree heat. You are aware that I abhor heat, humidity, and mosquitoes, right?! A tutorial isn’t even necessary; here’s how you do it:
Wash shelled butter beans thoroughly, removing any debris.
Heat large pot of water to boiling.
Add as many beans as pot will hold. (My large pot holds 4 quarts.)
Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. (Water does not have to come to a boil again.)
Drain and cool immediately in ice water bath for 5 minutes. (Mix cold water with ice in large bowl and pour in beans.)
Dry on large towel in thin layer.
Package in freezer zip top plastic bags.
Squeeze as much air out as possible.
Seal, and freeze up to 9 months.