Monday, June 21, 2010

I love pickles

Are you here to enter my giveaway?  scroll down there are a few hours left!  Come back this Saturday for another giveaway!  You wont want to miss this one.  Im hoping it appeals to more then the last. ;)

I love pickles.  Its that simple.  My girls love pickles.  We could easily go thru a jar in a weekend.  It's been done.  Every year that we have lived here I have planted a garden.  Amongst the flowers in my landscape you can find green beans, green, red and yellow bell peppers, zuchini, summer squash, eggplant, jalapenos, cucumbers, brocoli, tomatos and an array of herbs.  I scored the coolest job ever working for a local country store, selling flowers, herbs and vegetable plants.  My husbands only request was that at weeks end I broke even.  There were questionable weeks, shhhhhhh.  lol  During the season I turned my none gardening friend into a gardening fool. We will call her Abbey. Hi Abbey! She had about a 20 by 20ft plot that was set up for a swimming pool.  For safety reasons, she didnt set it up this year so we made full use of the plot.  It was filled with sand so we werent sure how the plants would do.  To our surprise, they are thriving! With the help of Mama bee, all her plants were successfully planted.  I know when I showed up with more plants each week that Mama bee wanted to strangle me.  But she will soon be enjoying the fruits of her labor;) 

I helped Abbey harvest a couple dozen cucumbers last week, combined with my harvest of jalapenos we got to pickling tonight!  Mama bee and I made strawberry jam last month, so I felt like I knew it all when it came to canning.  Mama bee made it look to easy.  The process for canning pickles was a little different then jam.  We used the recipe for kosher dill pickles on the back of the canning salt bag.  It says to wait 3-4 weeks before using your pickles.  So, I have a long wait to see if all our hard work was worth it.  In the mean time, we are going to have more cukes, and will try a bread and butter flavor recipe. Possibly a wickle recipe for relish.  Yummy! 

Here is what we started with tonight

I have a pressure canner.  I like to have all the best tools for whatever I am doing.  I dont like to be ill prepared for the job. lol  So, I purchased it years ago when I was attempting salsa.  I have a regular canning pot that I thought was a lobster pot. Who knew?!?!  I couldnt find it tonight.  Apparently it has disappeared in the process of cleaning and packing our basement.  So anyway, here is our hot water bath getting all bubbly and excited!

I am sure in the canning ettiquete guide there is something about not putting jars of different sizes together, but it was dark and it was getting late, and ...  I didnt care. lol

I was hoping for the magic pop of the lids when I took them out of the bath, but apperently they popped while bathing.  So no magic pop. The lids were firm, so I am taking that to mean they are sealed?  when they cool completely I will check the lids again.  If not sealed, they will hit the fridge and all will be good!

Here is what we ended up with

4 quarts of dill pickle spears, 2 pints of dill pickle chips, and 2 pints of dill jalapeno chips.  We knew we were going to have extra pickle brine so we went out to my garden and decided on jalapenos!  Who knows, maybe they will be good! I will let you know in 3-4 weeks.  The recipe says they have to sit for that long before eating. Do normal people really wait that long? ugh 

Next week we are going to make bread and butter pickles.  Yum!  

Have you pickled before?  Have any tips or tricks?  I am also hoping to try a Wickle recipe!  Hot and Sweet pickles.  Might make a really good relish.  I will report back on that one too!  Leave me your ideas or comments. 

Sweet dreams!


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