Monday, August 2, 2010

Makin' pickles

Cucumbers, washed and ready to be pickled
Earlier this summer, before it had been so hot for so long, I decided to try my hand at making pickles.  I have canned various fruits and made applesauce and jams, but I have never made pickles. All the recipes I looked at seemed really easy, too easy even. I mean, surely it should be difficult? No? All I have to do is make a brine and put everything in the jars? Huh. Well then, let's give it a try. I used the dill pickle recipe from The Joy of Cooking (the 1960s or 1970s edition), with a few consultations of various web sites.

Slicing up the cukes.
The cucumbers are from the farmer's market, a variety specifically for canning and/or pickling.  Since I like pickle spears and don't plan to eat them in sandwiches, I went with the spear shape. It was also the quickest - only 2 cuts per cuke.

More cukes...
Some of the cucumbers did have to be cut in half because they were too tall for the pint jars, but again, not too difficult to prep.

Sterilizing the jars
I had plenty of jars in the garage, left over from previous canning projects. I just needed to buy new lids - apparently, the little rubber seal only works once. But, the jars did need sterilizing, since they had been sitting in the garage for a year or so.

Look at that busy stove!
The brine was really simple - pickling salt, vinegar, and water. Just boiled together. So simple. Too simple?

3 jars of pickles, whoo!
Once the jars were filled with the brine and dill seeds and the lids were on, I re-boiled the jars. I think that step was sort of optional - if you are going to eat the pickles right away, they can just be stored in the fridge.  Since I was planning to store the pickles for longer, I boiled them.  We haven't tried them yet - I think I am still not convinced that such and easy process is correct, or safe or something, but we will, soon enough.

1 comment:

Candace said...

Loved this blog!