Freezing! While this would have been a good opportunity to can some beans, I decided to go with the freezing option as it is easier and quicker. Time is of the essence when you are working with just-picked produce--you want to process it as quickly as possible to retain the freshness.
Step One: Wash and prepare the beans. Throw the ends in the old-ice-cream-container-turned-compost-bin-storage. Boil a pot of water and prepare an ice bath. Have tongs and freezer bags handy. Stand in awe of the giant zucchini in the background.
Step Two: Place green beans in the boiling water. Leave them in there for a minute or two, but no longer. You do not want the beans to cook all the way, just to get really hot really fast.
Step Three: Remove the beans from the boiling water and immediately place them in the ice bath. The point of this is to stop the cooking process. Something magical AND scientific happens here, but I'm not sure what it is because I am neither a magician nor a scientist. I just know that this is an important step and you can't skip it.
Yes, the beans are cooling in the bottom of a salad spinner. It was already used, and I didn't want to dirty up another pot/bowl. That's just how I roll.
Step Four: Place the cooled beans in a freezer bag, squeeze out all the air, and throw them in the freezer.
Done! Green beans are preserved, and we'll be enjoying these delicious bits of summer sometime in January or February. That's usually when I need summer the most.