Pickles 2011

I made pickles on my own in 2009.  And again in 2010, each year I try to take notes because I always find myself stumped… which recipe did I make?  How much produce did I buy?  On Saturday I grab 5 lbs of pickling cucumbers (all small enough to fit in a pint jar whole), ~2 lbs of green beans (and hey look, tomatillos, I’ll take 3 lbs for my favorite green enchilada sauce) from the farmer’s market and planned to pickle the weekend away.

9/3/2011

First up: Garlic Dill Pickles, recipe courtesy of Food in Jars.  We made these last year, but I find myself stumped?  Black pepper, I don’t remember that, did we prefer fresh dill or dill seed?  I don’t think we noticed a difference, or if we did it wasn’t enough to be memorable.  Oh, hey we did use dried whole chiles instead of crushed red pepper – 1 per jar. But what exactly is 2 quarts of cucumbers? I decided to do a little tracking.  Using a spare dry pint box from berries I filled it 4 times and dumped the cucumbers in a big bowl set up on my scale. 39.5 oz.  I get 8 jars ready, only to realize that my water bath canner holds 7 jars.  Oh well.  And then I only manage to fill 6 of those jars (each holds 6 cucumbers when I mix slightly smaller with slightly larger cucumbers, one jar has 5 thicker cucumbers).  So I grab 7 more cucumbers, quickly scrub and prep them (I cut both ends off because I worry I’ll mistake a blossom end for a stem end). This year we are aiming for a few spicier jars and add 2 chiles to 3 of the jars.  I do have some extra brine… oh well.

Garlic Dill Pickles: 41 cucumbers (not quite 3 lbs) in 7 pint jars.

Second batch: Cucumber Pickles with Lemon from The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving.  Calls for 2 lbs of pickles (and I have 30 oz remaining).  Wish I had started sooner since the cucs need to be salted and sit for 3 hours.  I didn’t believe that the cucumber slices would fit in three jars so I prepped four jars and upped the brine (vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and spices by 1 1/3) only to have it all fit perfectly in 3 jars.

Third Batch: Dilly Beans from Food in Jars, with a slight modification to the brine (following the Ball Complete Guide… brine ratio so I used 2 1/2 T of salt instead of 4 T that Marissa called for).  2 lbs of green beans probably could have filled 4 jars, but I prepped three jars.  Ooops, processed them for 10 minutes instead of 5.

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September 4, 2011. Tags: , , . preserving.

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