A Pickle of a Day!

First Pickles of the year. YAY as well as Whew!

 Seriously I love my life, and love all it’s chaos, the twists and turns it takes makes us all laugh, as well as frustrated at times. Canning Pickles this weekend should have gone smoothly, yet our little house of adventures every few minutes made it an entire days process before I had to redo the whole ENTIRE thing over again on Sunday. If you could see my face, I’m not smiling at the moment.

 What happened was, I used quart sized jars, and foolishly thinking they fit into the wire rack that I’ve used for the last 3 years put the very first filled jar into the boiling hot water only to find out they don’t fit into the rack. Not only that the pan was not going to be big enough for the water to cover the jars well enough. *sigh*
   This is no where near the end of it. I grabbed “Bes” my new pressure canner, lifted her big heavy steel butt off the floor and filled it with hot water, hit the heat on high and waited. Waited. Waited some more. It took no joke, 3 hours to get “Bes” to a boiling point. So far my cucumbers will need to be perfect due to all the time it’s sucked out of my day. Remember I’ve got four kids, I don’t have 3 hours to spare, let along 5 minutes.
     After all the jars were filled and rings were set on I set them into the water and realized the water had dropped a few degrees, but not just a few. Someone turned the stove off. Once again, there’s no smile on my face. Perhaps this is what I get for thinking I could get it all done without a hassle. Monday’s kick my butt when I think things will go ok, now the weekends have picked a war with me and my cucumbers!

It took all in all 10 hours to start, fill, heat water, and realize I needed to stop and start all over again. I had too, other wise the jars would not be processed correctly. If you yo-yo the heat too much water evaporates from the jars. It won’t be bad, but those are the jars that would most likely “if” they even did go bad first. As long as the jar is sealed for the proper time you are OK, water does come out, but the more that does the higher risk you have for spoilage along the line. These pickles had to sit for 8 weeks, I didn’t like all my hard work getting tossed so the simple thing to do was just start over the next day.

 *sigh* And re-boil the water all over again.
These have better be the best pickles I’ve ever tasted!
 They sure do look pretty though, so it was indeed worth the two days worth of messing with them.

This recipe came from Blue Ribbons Recipes
The problem with this at first was there’s no measurements, I found alot of recipes for canning that really didn’t have measurements so I had to look up a bunch before making this.
This is Jennie Collin’s Great Dill Pickles
2 quarts water
1quart white vinegar
2/3 pickling salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 bay leaves
Garlic cloves, peeled and washed
Sliced onions
Dill seeds
Dried dill weed
Fresh dill washed
So in my Ball book of canning there’s a recipe that comes super close to this, as well as many others gave good tips to how much of each should go into each jar. I’ll add the amount into the Directions, but the Yield will vary depending on how much cucumbers you have to work with.
First thing first, wash the cucumbers and slice, or cut into spears. My husband found this awesome tool that let me cut my cucumbers into the hamburger style slices πŸ™‚
 Put the cucumber in ice cold water and fill it with ice for 2-8hrs (no longer than 8)
Prepare the jars, I used quart sized jars that were being sterilized in the dishwasher, a great thing to have. Remember having your counters lined with towels is a very good idea, hot jars and cold surfaces don’t mix, plus whatever you spill will be soaked up.
 1. Combine water, vinegar, pickling salt, sugar, and bay leaves in large pot over medium high heat. Heat until boiling. You want the mixture to be boiling as you are covering the cucumbers in the jars, be very careful.
2. Pack cumber into hot sterilized jars. Add  2 halved garlic cloves.1-2 tbsp dill seeds,1-2 tbsp dill weed and 1 fresh fresh dill head to each jar. I forgot to add onions all together, so add what you like into your jars.  Use tongs to remove bay leaves from boiling brine. Pour brine over cucumbers, leaving 1/2 inch head space, add 2 more garlic halves. ( all together each jar will have 4 garlic halves)
Remove air bubbles, secure flat lids and rings. Process in a boiling-water canner bath for 15 minutes, or adjust time to your altitude. Yield will vary.
Pretty Pickles why were you such a hassle?

5 thoughts on “A Pickle of a Day!

  1. Grace

    Ahh Melanie, I feel bad for you but your pickles look great and I hope they taste even better!
    I'm inspired by your combative spirit that stuck to it and defeated the mishaps.

  2. Jill

    Thanks for sharing this, I'd like to try making my own too. πŸ™‚ They sure look yummy! Have a great evening.

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