I made pickles recently, and they are fucking delicious. Get a load of this:
- 8 pounds 3 to 4 inch long pickling cucumbers
- 4 cups white vinegar
- 12 cups water
- 2/3 cup pickling salt
- 16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
- 8 sprigs fresh dill weed
- 8 heads fresh dill weed
- Wash cucumbers, and place in the sink ( I use the bathtub!) with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 (1 quart ) canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.
- In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jar’s rims of any residue.
- Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.
- Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.
So, some edits:
I did not do the boiling bath the second time around. If I were to sell these, I would need to do that because of the board of health or whatever. But there was an edit to the recipe that said that while technically you are SUPPOSED to do that, the pickles will not be nearly as crispy and delicious as they would be otherwise.
Secondly, my friend who cans like nobody’s business told me I did not actually have to wait 8 weeks, but two would be sufficient. And so I did not wait 8 weeks, because waiting until October for pickles seems excessive. And they are delicious.
I am going to make dillybeans next, possibly, and I have been told I should pickle beets or jalapeno peppers, but I am not totally sure what I would do with those things once I was finished with them.
I also made jam, but from what I can tell it just involves boiling sugar, fruit, and pectin together until it reaches an agreeable consistency. For this I do a bath in boiling water, because jam is just mush anyway.
What’s funny is that people are universally impressed by canning. Pickles seem to garner more enthusiasm than jam, possibly because more people I know make jam rather than pickles. It’s unfortunate there’s such a brief window in which pickling cucumbers are available. Mostly they’re just tiny cucumber, though they also seemed to be a bit warty to begin with. Maybe cucumbers would all be warty if there weren’t the pressure to be smooth-skinned.