Lemonade Stand and Dilly Beans

A good way to direct our energies on a humid and hot day earlier this week: take one grumpy walk to the grocery store for supplies, whip up a batch of lemonade, popcorn, throw in some homemade banana bread, haggle over the pricing (5o cents per item, or 75 for a combo of any two items), and make some signs. Sit in the lawn and hope for customers to pass you by. We waited for awhile, and had some long periods of doing nothing much, except for reading and playing on the picnic blanket, but in the end each child had earned a small share of the pooled profits, and we’d gone through three pitchers of lemonade, and met a few passersby not previously known to us. (A special thanks to friends who went out of their way to stop by and to drum up business for us!).

Today, I had the brilliant idea to can dilly beans. Really, why not? So it’s hot. Let’s add some steam to the kitchen. Actually, it was happifying to remember, as I do every year, that canning isn’t impossible, or even that difficult. Within an hour (or a little more), I had seven jars of dilly beans on the counter. The kids helped to clean the beans, but spent the rest of the time getting into trouble. Canning isn’t the easiest task to invite kids to participate in, involving as it does a great number of hot things: boiling water, simmering liquids, steaming jars, etc. But I’m inspired. What if I put up seven jars each day for a couple of weeks every August? Do-able? That would be a lot of food by fall. Left on my to-do list: canned tomatoes, and tomato sauce; relish; maybe some canned pumpkin or squash; grape juice. Easy-peasy. Right? Ask me in a month.

After the Ceremony
Dial-Up Carrie


  1. ~~Melissa

    I seem to go through a canning/bottling re-learning curve each year, remembering my best practices about half way through harvest. I think I need two harvests a year for the sake of my memory.//I love the lemon-aid sale sign.

  2. Beth-Anne Jones

    First of all – I LOVE the way that your kids spelled Lemen (and then corrected it).

    I commend you for canning. Every year my husband and I talk about it and we always find an excuse not to do it. We had a very successful year with tomatoes awhile back and raved all winter about what a great idea it was. Thanks for the kick in the butt – I have added it to the list of things to do come late summer.


  3. m

    I canned eleven jars of peaches today and eleven yesterday of cherries. I love canning and jamming, but I do find it exhausting. I haven’t ventured into vegies, though. They intimidate me. Do you pressure cook them?

    Also, this will seem like a non-sequitar, but what type of wood did you use for your raised gardens? I want to build some and am considering using wood from our old fence, but I don’t know if that’s a good idea or not.

  4. Carrie Snyder

    As far as I know, veggies should be pressure-cooked unless pickled (aside from tomatoes, which are not really veggies, I guess). Dilly beans are just pickled green beans. I wouldn’t attempt to can them in my water bath canner otherwise. And don’t yet have a pressure canner. Put it on my wish-list.

    For the first raised bed, my husband used wood from our old picnic table. It hadn’t been treated, just painted–I wouldn’t use old wood that could leach anything, like arsenic, or whatever they used to treat wood with. The other beds are made out of cedar. A friend lined hers with plastic, but we didn’t do that. Guess we’ll find out by trial and error how long the wood lasts!


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