In a pickle!

I had a project in mind tonight when I got home after work! Any guesses?

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I made my second ever foray into the art of pickling! I used a recipe for garlic dill pickles I found at Food in Jars (which appears to be a stellar blog re all things canning! I can’t wait to peruse it more thoroughly!)

First, I washed the ton of cucumbers that had accrued in my CSA box this week: 3 long curly ones, two ghosty white ones, and one Indian golden.

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Next, I sliced them. Pretty thickly, as I don’t like super thin pickles, and from leisurely research (yay Google!), I’d gleaned that thicker pickles are crisper pickles…we shall see! I had a solid 8 cups (2 quarts) by the time I got down to the last cuke, so I left one of the ghosty white ones in the pic out.

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Then I set my brine up and brought it to a simmer.

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While to brine took its own sweet time coming to a simmer, I quickly washed out my jars and then started adding spices…first the garlic, then some dill see, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes.

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And then the sliced cukes!!! It’s harder than it looks to pack them all in tightly in the jars. Kind of like playing tetris with round things…

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Then they were all ready to pour the brine in! Which I managed without spilling all over! FTW!

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Then into the water bath they went. Well, that’s not entirely true. First I had to wait  45 minutes for the GIANT kettle o’ water to come to a boil. Took. For. Ever. Seriously, we grilled chicken legs, made tzatziki, and were well underway with dessert by the time the water finally got around to boiling. THEN into the water bath they went! 7 pretty little jars (because my jar-holder racky thing only holds seven at a time…weird).

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It was like a scene out of MacBeth! Except with more pickles and less dire prophecy!

Now, here’s where I had to wing it a bit…the recipe said to process for 10 minutes, but I wasn’t sure if you were supposed to start the timer when you put the jars in, or when the water came back to a boil after you put the jars in. To be on the safe side (I think!), I went with the latter and waited to start the timer till the water was back to a healthy boil. Since all my jars sealed once I took them out of the water bath, I think I’ll be OK.

I think I’ll give them a few days (maybe a week) to let the flavors blend, but I seriously cannot wait to crack one of these jars and try them out!

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