Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pickling Day - Part 1

Hey there,
Yesterday was pickling day. Or I guess pickling and canning day. Very exciting indeed. My wife and her sister love home made pickles and they have a family recipe which I'm about to disclose. Hopefully that is ok! ;) Last year I made these pickles with my wife and they turned out great. This year I invited a friend over to help and we canned all day - canning some tomatoes for general use, and making spicy beans as well. We bought a bushel of pesticide-free pickles for $25 at the Farmer's Market and the yield was 22 1 litre jars of pickles.

Here is the recipe (word for word) that I use. At the end I'll document the changes I made.

"Wash pickles really well. I use a small brush. Place pickles tightly in a quart jar. Put the larger pickles on the bottom of the jar in the centre. Then put a sprig of dill, a sprig of summer savory and a cut up clove of garlic in the jar. Note that you can also put a few small kernels of hot peppers in the jar if you like your pickles spicy. Fill rest of jar with smaller pickles.

When all the jars are filled, put one teaspoon of sugar and one tablespoon of pickling salt in each jar.

In a pot, boil the following brine for the pickles.

7 cups of water

1 cup of pickling vinegar

Pour hot boiled brine in each jar to cover all the pickles.

Also, boil the rubber rings or lids for a few minutes and then put on each jar and seal.

Place the sealed jars upright in a large pot of hot water and bring to a boil. Water level should be about half way up the sides of the jars. Depending on the size of your pot, you may only be able to get three of four jars in the pot at a time. Once the water is boiling, turn off and cover the pot with an old towel and let cool until the next day.

Note: It takes about 1.5 to 2 cups of brine for each quart jar.

Here are the adjustments I made. I covered the jars with 1 inch of water during the canning process. Also, I boiled the pickles in the canning pot for 10 minutes because I didn't want to leave them sitting in the pot overnight because:
a) I had a lot of pickles to make

b) I had lots of tomatoes to can (see my next post)

Finally, I doubled the garlic in each jar (at least) plus I threw some halved fresh chiles in some jars. I'm not sure how that will work out but I'll let you know. One last note - you may see that some of my garlic turned greenish (I think this may be due to the fact I cut up 6 whole garlic and left them out during the canning process) - I consulted my canning book (The Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving - we grabbed this with the jars for a

Now to wait two months or so to see how they taste.....


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