There is a product out there to thicken canned food called Clear Jel, but it's not found in stores here in Michigan. I understand that the bulk food stores regularly carry it on the shelf in Utah, because those Mormon gals are way into canning in a big way as part of their preparedness ethic. In Michigan, we have few Mormons, so I asked my friend Matt at work about this. I like to tell him he is the only Mormon I know outside of Donnie and Marie....
He good naturedly answers all my Mormon questions, such as "Do Mormons celebrate Halloween?" (the answer is yes) and "Why are there so many Mormons in Boy Scouts?" (he doesn't know, but he is an Eagle Scout and so are his sons). I asked him about the canning thing and he said yes, it's true, and even joked that when a Mormon takes you on a house tour and shows you the guest room, he'll open the door and it will be full of canned goods. Of course, Costco provides a solution for those that aren't into canning - it's a pallet full of food to feed a family of 4 for 12 months at a mere $4500! So the Mormon ladies are very often into the canning thing if they don't have some spare $$$ available for the Costco solution, so I guess it makes sense for the stores to carry Clear Jel. I didn't want to have to order anything off the internet, so I went without for this recipe. I guess that the final product should have a thicker mustard sauce than mine, but that's okay.
I found a recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, thanks to a new tool I have been trying out called Eat Your Books, which enables you to index all of your cookbooks. All I had to do was type "mustard beans" in the search of my library, and I found it easily. Now, I just need to organize my cookbooks in some logical fashion so I can lay my hands on them. LOL I adjusted Ball's recipe by reducing the sugar and omitting the Clear Jel. Here's how I did it...
Makes about 7 pints
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 c dry mustard
1/4 c picking salt
1 T ground ginger
1 tsp ground tumeric
2 1/2 c white vinegar
1/2 c water
4 c chopped onions (about 4 large onions)
1 1/4 cup finely chopped and seeded red pepper (about 1 large)
11 cups chopped (1 inch pieces) trimmed green beans (about a half a peck)
Prepare canner, jars and lids. Add all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Ladle bean mixture into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.