In A Pickle

I love home canned pickles, but it’s been years since I last canned them. I’m not sure why…I think I just got busy with all of the other canning staples and it fell off the list. This year, however, I found some lovely small pickling cucumbers at the Murray Farmer’s Market and just knew I had to jump in.

Pickling is a process of covering a fruit or vegetable with a spiced vinegar solution and then waiting as that solution permeates the fruit or veg.  This changes the flavor and the composition of the item and makes it yummy.  So even though I canned my pickles they won’t be ready to eat for a few more weeks.  They’re just in pretty jars and getting yummy now.

We bought about 3 pounds of cucumbers which I washed good and packed into jars.  You want them to fit well, but not so tight that the liquid can’t easily move around them.  You can cut your cucumbers into slices or spears too, but I like whole ones.  Here I added a few leaves of lime basil cause I like the flavor.

Then I assembled my spice team:  Pepper, salt, garlic, mustard seed, celery seed, coriander and fresh dill.

The garlic and dill I broke up into pieces and put right into the jar.  Everything else went into my spice grinder with a little bit of sugar and went for a spin until I had nice chunks and a lovely smell.

I combined my ground spices with a variety of vinegar.  In my case I used 1/2 white vinegar, 1/4 red wine vinegar and 1/4 apple cider vinegar.

Everything goes right over the top, then I capped the bottles with heated lids and rings and processed them in a water bath canner according to the Ball Blue book rules for my altitude.

All done.  Now I just have to wait until they’re pickles…  le sigh.  Maybe we’ll open them for Thanksgiving!

Jana Brown

Pickles

1/2 T kosher salt

2 t sugar

1 t each mustard seed, coriander and celery seed

1 t black peppercorns

dill

garlic

2 cups vinegar

Combine herbs and spices with warm vinegar and pour over cucumbers.  Process according to your canner instructions and altitude.

Wait for pickles to obtain potency.

Eat!

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