Pickles & Preserves August 11, 2006Posted by merp in Food.
First, we chopped the cucumbers. Yes, these cucumbers! As well as garlic, shallots, ginger, one cayenne pepper, and some dill.
Then, a vinegar syrup with a lot of whole spices – including but not limited to: yellow mustard, coriander, peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon, allspice, cloves….and I forget what else.
The jars were sterilized – and here’s the big improvement over last year – in a huge stock pot that turned out to hold 7 jars at a time.
No time for photographs as we stuffed the hot jars full of pickles and hot vinegar. Once they were packed, they were processed in boilng water for 15-20 minutes.
And here they are, 8 beautiful pints of homemade dill pickles:
Plus, because there was a little vinegar left over, one jar of pickled garlic for the fridge.
They’ll be ready to taste in about a month. Sadly, we forgot to add pickle crisp (CaCl), but hopefully not a big deal.
I was amazed that the whole process, from set-up through clean-up, with both of us working together, only took an unfrantic 3 hours of our Tuesday evening. This was my second time pickling (sweet pickles last year) and Aaron’s third (2 years of pickled chiles). This year we used the dill pickle recipe from homecanning.com – the very useful website run by Ball jars. Though of course we followed our own noses on the spices.
Also, on Saturday, I made some peach freezer preserves:
I do this whenever I have a good batch of fresh fruit – in this case, golden peaches and white peaches from the Farmer’s Market. The most time-consuming part was peeling, chopping, and crushing them. Then you cook them a little (optional), add sugar and pectin, fill these nifty little plastic jars, let sit, seal and freeze. Then Y-YUM!
All last winter we worked through a big batch of really amazing raspberry-rhubarb jam and currently we have strawberry-rhubarb & strawberry-concord grape. Going to try something with pears this fall.