2023-08-12: Pickles

After a lot of dragging my feet for about a week I finally made myself go through the process of converting some of our cucumbers into pickles.

I’m not sure why I was dragging my feet. I enjoy canning. Especially water bath canning where I’m not standing next to a potential ER visit. At least that’s the thing the voice in my head brings up. I got 14 pints of pickles canned today. Nine of them were from overly large cucumbers that I halved and then quartered into spears. The last five were very large and I used them to make rounds for burgers.

Sterilizing the jars.

As far as I can tell everything worked as intended. I sterilized the jars in boiling water for 12 minutes (ten minutes plus two extra for each 1,000 feet above sea level), cut some fresh heads of dill from the garden, beat the hell out of some garlic cloves, and then packed the sterilized jars with the seasonings and spears/slices.

This was a little bit of a plate spinning procedure. I was also preparing a brine of seven cups of water, 1/2 cup of salt, and 1/4 cup of white vinegar in a stock pot. That would end up being poured into the packed jars and ideally a half inch of air would be left at the top. I read that it was important that the vegetables stay under the water. Some of mine seem to have ended up above the water in the process of sealing, so I may need to do some more reading about why that’s important, if it is.

The left has been canned the right is about to be. The color change is cool to see.

To my understanding the next sad step is to wait six to eight weeks for the cucumbers to reach a level of pickling that one might want. I want to eat them now. But I’ll try to hold off. I have more to make tomorrow, about eight pounds of cucumbers I’d guess. And then the plants have been eagerly producing more since I picked these a few days ago. My hope is I’ll get out there sooner than later and pick some smaller cucumbers for baby pickles.

It’s been fun to try canning food again. I really enjoy this feeling of producing a usable consumable asset for my family. Especially when it was grown by us. Except for the salt, vinegar, and garlic, all the other ingredients were from here. I made sure to sneak a few pieces of garlic out to the garden to plant so a future batch might be even more “from scratch”.

Some slow-mo bubbles as the water begins to approach a boil.

And speaking of the plants, I spent some time training them to grow in the tomato cages so they’d be easier to pick from later on. I guess we’ll see how that turns out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *