One of the hopes when I started my garden was that I would be able to can/preserve any of the overflow I collected. Whelp, my garden isn’t producing THAT much food, but I still wanted to try my hand at canning. I made some strawberry rhubarb jam earlier this spring (SO GOOD!) and I even pickled the radishes that I had crazy amounts of. But, I wanted to make PICKLES. If you’ve ever met me, you will know a few things. I’m tall, I have curly hair, I love hippos, and I LOVE pickles. I could totally eat a big fat deli pickle every day of my life if I just didn’t have to drink a gallon of water after. So, here is my account of my first attempt at pickles. I picked up this AWESOME book called Food In Jars by Marisa McClellan. She has a blog with the same name as well. As someone formerly afraid to try this, I was super pumped with her easy to follow instructions and recipes.
- 2 overflowing quarts of pickling cucumbers,
- 4 cups apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups water
- 5 tablespoons kosher salt
- 16 garlic cloves, peeled (2 per jar)**
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper per jar*** (2 teaspoons total)
- 1 teaspoon dill weed per jar (8 teaspoons total)
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns per jar (4 teaspoons total)
Clean the jars you plan to use. You can either use the dishwasher and keep the jars warm in it, or clean, then use the canning pot to heat your jars. Heat the lids in a separate pan to a simmer.
Wash and slice off the blossom end of the cucumbers.
You can leave them whole, slice in spears, or make into coins. I did spears.
In a large sauce pot add the vinegar, water, and salt. Bring to a simmer/boil.
Add the pickling spices to each of the sterilized jars.
Pack the jars with the cucumbers, packing tightly.
Pour the brine in to the jars, tapping the jars to make sure all air bubbles are out (also using a chopstick can be useful to get rid of air bubbles). Leave a half inch of headspace at the top of the jars, then wipe the rims clean with a towel. Apply lids and rings, making sure to tighten, but don’t force the rings on SOO tight. Add the jars to the canning pot and once the water has reached a boil again, process for 10 minutes.
You don’t have to do a water bath, just make these refrigerator pickles and put the jars in the fridge after 24 hours. If you do water bath can, check the seals by lightly pushing/tapping/pulling the lids. If the lid didn’t set, no problems, just make these refrigerator pickles. The canned food is stable for a year.
I also had some side projects going on…. As you can tell I decided to pickle some
carrots with the cucumbers as well. I also pickled some jalapenos and daikon radish, though I did the daikon as a refrigerator pickle only. For the jalapenos, I followed another recipe from the blog found here. For the daikon, I used rice wine vinegar and I added some sriracha as well.
The most awesome part of my day was grilling some zucchini and yellow squash that I harvested from my garden THIS MORNING. Super awesome.