I had a project in mind tonight when I got home after work! Any guesses?
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.
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.
Then I set my brine up and brought it to a simmer.
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.
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…
Then they were all ready to pour the brine in! Which I managed without spilling all over! FTW!
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).
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!