Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More pickles!

When I was a kid, one wall in the garage was dedicated to my mom's canning jars. She would can all kinds of things - peaches, tomatoes, cherries, applesauce, etc. and we would get to eat the fruit year round. Since I have all this extra produce from my garden, I thought I'd try canning some pickles.

I ordered this handy-dandy canning discovery kit from Amazon.com. (By the way - Amazon Prime is the greatest thing ever. I never have to leave the house!)

The kit includes a canning rack, three jars with bands and lids and an instruction booklet - for about 10 bucks. The booklet outlines three easy steps - boil water, fill jars, put jars in boiling water.  And voila, instant pickles!

Ok, so it's a little more complicated than that - you have to make sure your pot is deep enough to fully submerge the jars. (Thanks to Mary for lending me her pot.) And you need to make sure that you have the right amount of space in the top of your jars before you put them in the water. And you have to boil the jars for the right amount of time. But this is not rocket science.

For the brine, I used the Ball dill pickle mix recipe from the side of the mix container. Super easy. Pour the brine over the sliced cucumbers, add lids and bands and boil for about 15 minutes. I also threw in a little dill from the garden for kicks.

The mix says the pickles will be best in 4-6 weeks, so I'm looking forward to cracking them open. I have a bunch of tomatoes in the garden now, so I'm thinking of canning some salsa, bruschetta or tomato sauce next.

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