Pickle Notes (2010)

I could have sworn I made notes of my canning efforts last year – which recipes, and what sorts of spicing modifications that I made, but of course now I can’t find that.

When Beth/Bookishbiker posted this zucchini recipe it caught my eye (I had some great pickles seasoned with tumeric earlier this summer at a pizza place). So when I didn’t get around to making dinner with some zucchini I decided to go ahead and make them. Once I started the recipe I realized how much sugar was in the recipe – yup, it tastes a lot like bread and butter pickles. That is okay though. And in classic fashion my yield is off from the recipe yeild. I packed 3 pints jars plus one very full 1/2 pint jar – I probably should have packed the zucchini and onion slices looser in 4 pint jars. Oh well.

And I knew I wanted to make sweet spiced pickled beets again, but I also knew I didn’t want to make last years recipe since that turned out way too sweet. I’m 90% sure I used the Small Batch preserving recipe. So this year I tried the Ball Guide to Home Preservation recipe with my addition of ginger to the spices. But how much ginger did I use last year? Drats. So I decided to add just over 1/2 tablespoon of the dried, cracked ginger. I bought 2 bunches of beets at the Farmer’s Market (with oodles of golf ball size beets instead of the 4 or so larger beets that I see so often) I know it wasn’t the 10 lbs the recipe called for, but I was okay tossing a bit of brine (better than scrambling to boil a second batch of brine like I did last year). I thought I’d end up with about 4 pints. I ended up with 2 pints. Which might be a problem, since my mom has asked for some for christmas. Last year she actually mixed her plain canned beets with my pickled beets and said that created the perfect sweet-level of brine. Here’s hoping this brine recipe is a winner.

And finally: stop trying to process more than one type of pickle in an evening. Or at least pay attention to processing times before you are 3/4 the way through the process. That is when I realized that my zucchini jars only need to boil for 10 minutes while my beets need to boil for 30 minutes. The mom suggestion was to just take the zucchini out sooner.

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September 3, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . preserving.

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