Pickles

I’ve never canned pickles before. For whatever reason I’ve always been a bit intimidated by the whole process. That includes the growing of the veggies (or whatever) to can. Did I mention I am the anti-green thumb? I think this is why Farmer’s Markets were created! What a deal I got on a ton of canning pickles!

So…first thing I did was make sure I washed the jars, rings and lids. I made sure to put them on the sanitize cycle and had it finish about the time I was ready for them so the jars would be nice and hot. Put the new lids (I also put in the rings) into boiling water to prepare them for dealing.

After I scrubbed the cucumbers (see the picture above) it was time to cut them. Whether you slice them or not its a good idea to get that stem end off. If left on it can release enzymes that will make for mushy pickles. Blech! I decided to do a variety…sliced, speared and left whole.

I nearly forgot to mention! As I am doing this I have the pickle juice on the stove and am bringing it to a boil. Once at a boil it will be kept on simmer. At the end of this post will be the link to the recipe so you’ll get the nitty-gritty ingredient details.

Time to pack the heated jars. A side note: I do these one jar at a time…in the following picture it isn’t looking like that but trust me – in the end its what I done did!

Packing goes like this: fresh garlic clove on the bottom, cucumbers packed in tightly, fresh dill head and finally the boiling pickle juice filled leaving 1/4 inch head space. You don’t want air bubbles so I gently (and I do mean gently) tap the jars on the counter. Take out a lid that you have in boiling water and put on the jar and use a ring to tighten down.

This is what it would look life if you wanted to put them in a boiling hot water bath. You don’t need to do that necessarily with this method as long as you have sanitized everything and used HOT jars and lids and juice…but in case you want to really make sure the jars seal you can do it in a hot water bath for about 10 minutes. Sometimes the pickles turn out a bit mushy because you are essentially cooking them more.

Once the canning process is done it is important to let them cool in a draft free area. Being that I don’t have a draft free area I lay down a bath towel, place the finished jars on it and then cover the jars with another towel. You can kind of see that in the next picture of the final products.

I usually just ignore them over night – and jump with every POP of the jars’ sealing themselves – and in the morning check to see if they have sealed. You can tell if they have by pressing on the lids. If there is NO give they are sealed. If there is some give put them in the fridge and eat first. they are still okay to eat. Mark the date you made them on the top and you might want to notate which kind of pickles they are. The longer they sit the more pickley the become.

I can tell you that my youngest daughter has given these a 2 thumbs up (and apparently has been coming over and nabbing even more jars).

Click here for the Sweet Garlic Dill Pickle recipe – Enjoy!