Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pickle Making Day

I love dill pickles! In-fact I will eat anything pickled. When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter I ate one of those industrial sized jars of pickled mushrooms. I had wanted to make some of those too but the Farmer's market was all out. To make pickles you need a few essential ingredients: 6 lbs. Pickling cucumbers, garlic, dill,  jars for canning with lids, a pickling pack (I am using Mrs. Wages), pickling vinegar, a large pot with a lid (I am using my tamale steamer),  another pot for the pickling solution, and a ladle. Fill the large pot with water and bring to a boil. Sanitize all of the jars and lids along with any tools you will be using to pick the jars out of the water or to fill them. Set to the side and let cool. Continue to let the water boil.

I firstly washed and cut all of the cucumbers into spears. I like to cut off each end first. Then I cut the halves into 2-4 pieces depending on how big the pieces were. I peeled 6 cloves of garlic (one for each jar) and then added a few sprigs of dill to the sanitized jar. Each jar gets dill and about 12-16 spears.

In another pot follow the package directions for the pickling liquid. I know from prior experience that I always run out of pickling liquid so I added two more cups water to one cup vinegar. To each filled
pickle jar I ladled in the liquid until there was about 1/2 inch head space between the lid of the jar and ringed edges. I filled to right below the start of the first ridge.

Each jar was fitted with a lid and then put into the boiling water with the tongs so the water covers the top of the jars. You may have to remove or add water here so the jars are covered and then bring it back to a boil. I am able to fit in 4 jars at a time and I covered the pot with a lid and let it process and boil for 10 minutes. The jars were then removed with the tongs and let to sit on a table to cool. The seals will make a popping sound when sealed. It may take a few hours. Let the jars continue to cool overnight. These jars are shelf stable for 6-12 months due to their high acid content. I keep one or two in the fridge and a few in the pantry. I plan on making some sweet pickles towards the end of the growing season and possibly some pickled beets.

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