I made pickles – dill spears to be exact.
I attended a food preservation class in town a couple of weeks ago and it was full of wonderful information and it motivated me to get some food preserved! This is the first time I have ever canned pickles so I was excited and nervous to make these for my husband and son who really enjoy pickles!
I don’t eat pickles, so I won’t be able to taste and let you know how delicious (or grotesque) they end up – but here goes!
I picked up a beautiful batch of cukes from the local Saturday morning Farmer’s Market!
First I washed and cut all the cukes into spears and then started to get the brine ready –
1st OOPS – have to let the cukes sit in salt and ice bath for 2 hours, it is already 8pm, hmmmm.. I guess I will be canning late tonight!
Put the cut cukes into a salt and ice bath!
Okay, time to start getting the brine ready – cutting up fresh garlic cloves from my GRUB CSA share…. mmmm, I love the smell of garlic!
Filled my big pots full of water – one for sterilizing, one for the waterbath, tea kettle going in case I need more boiling water, and one saucepan for the brine. (I think I might need a bigger stove for this)
During the time I was waiting for the cukes to sit and water and brine to boil I made a batch of perogi dough – more to come on perogi’s in a future post if you’ve never heard of them. (They are one of my FAVE foods!)
Okay, brine being stirred to a boil, jars in one pot sterlizing…
2nd OOPS – dropped jar lid into brine….
Fished jar lid out…. thinking where is Mom when I need her – she would be having a giggling fit with me right now. Though, when she planted her first garden back in the 70’s just after her and my Dad were married she asked my Dad if she could plant pickles….. hehe! But now she is the most amazing cook and do-everything Mom in the whole world!!
Okay, jar lid out – brine boiling…….
Rinsed cukes and packed in hot jars. Dropped a few garlic heads in each jar and then poured the hot brine over the top!
This is so exciting — I am making pickles!
Okay – putting the jars into the water bath…..
3rd OOPS – hot boiling water about to OVERFLOW out of huge stockpot on stove – ahhhhh…..
Not sure if you can tell – but the water is literally to the very top-most edge of this pot! Now I am hearing my Mom and my sister giggling in the kitchen.
Ladled some hot water out – put lid on and let pot come to rolling boil!
Whew…….. Now I just have to set timer and get ready to take jars out.
Reading over recipe and all the steps again…..
4th OOPS – Oh S—, I forgot to get air bubbles out and wipe the rim before putting lids on. Guess it is too late for that one!
Timer goes off – Pickles have boiled for 10 minutes and then sat for 5. Carefully take each jar out and set on the counter on top of a dishtowel. Before I even have the 2nd jar out I hear *ping* and I do a little whoop of joy and happy dance! It worked, it worked.
All the jars went on to *ping* and now in a few days I will have my hubby test out the spears and get back to you on the verdict!
In the meantime I am enjoying just looking at the beautiful jars of pickles on the kitchen counter and knowing that I canned them. Even with a few oopsies and no experience – it can be done 🙂
** 8/17/11 Update – The dill spears have been tested by my hubby, Bizz and my mother-in law at this point.
The consensus is that they are very vinegary (next recipe I am going to use one with apple cider vinegar which is supposed to give it a more mellow vinegary taste). But – that they are still yummy and will be gobbled up 🙂