Friday, July 23, 2010

Canning my new addiction?

If I knew that growing cucumbers would be this easy, I would have planted a lot more of these beauties in my garden. Our 5 cucumber plants have been producing so many cucumbers and we are so thrilled. Look at this vine! It totally climbed up the garden fence.

Check out this beauty. It was so pretty, that I didn't even want to pick it. But I did.
So far, we have harvested a total of 21 cucumbers! Awesome! And we decided to make them into... Pickles!

I always was afraid to pickle anything, because in my mind I always thought it was terribly difficult. However, making dill pickles was SO easy! So easy in fact that now I think I'm addicted! This recipe said to wait 10 days before trying the pickles, but who can wait that long?? LOL. I let the sliced cukes soak in the brine for 2 hours and then tasted it. O M G, the BEST pickles EVER!!! For seasoning I used dill, garlic, mustard seed, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, habanero pepper, sugar, vinegar and water. Better than any pickle I've ever bought at a store. By far!

This is definitely a year of firsts for me. First time with my own garden, first time pickling, and first time canning! I can't believe I didn't have a backyard before, this is way too much fun! This Ball canning utensil set, if you don't have it, you have to get it. It's so useful and the tong it comes with to pick up the hot jars works so well!

Does anyone know where you can buy cases of canning jars either online or at a store that is reasonably priced? We bought these jars at Michael's craft store for $1.99 for a quart jar. Pricey, if you ask me. We saw the same thing at A.C. Moore. Unfortunately, where we live, there aren't many places to buy canning jars. You'd think it would be something you can find in NYC, but nope, not really.

I put these babies in a hot water bath for 15 minutes and took them out and let it cool. And low and behold, when it was cool, it was indeed vacuum sealed!

Now, If I can only wait the 10 days before we open these....

12 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your canning your first pickles!! Most grocery stores carry cases of canning jars. I find them a bit pricey though. You can usually find the larger canning jars (quarts & pints) at yard sales and flea markets. I bought some small, 1/2 pint jelly jars on craigslist last year....for $2. a case. Also, ask people you know. You would be surprised at how many people have them and want to get rid of them. You will still need to buy the caps new. Since they should not be re-used. Oh, buy the "Ball Blue Canning Book"...lots of recipes to add to your addiction :)

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  2. They look great!!! Can you post the recipe or email me the recipe please. I will be making pickles this weekend and am always looking for new ideas.

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  3. I bought mine by the case at Walmart. They have a section in the Kitchen stuff devoted to canning. I've never tried the true canning process but I make refrigerator pickles which require 7-10 days before eating too. :)

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  4. Well done! There's nothing like having your own produce in jars on the shelves.

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  5. Congratulations! I buy my jars at Smart & Final -- best prices I can find. Restaurant supplies might work. Did you know there are BPA-free lids? Reusable - I'm going to invest in some very soon.

    I have to go buy some spices. Maybe this afternoon.

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  6. Oh, wow! Your plants are prolific. Good for you. Another thing I like to do is make a crock of pickles that I keep in the back of the fridge. You can let fish them out when you are ready -- and it saves on all the jars and lids and...

    Can't wait for our cucumbers to start pumping. Five so far!

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  7. Hi Meems,
    Thanks for stopping by and saying hello.
    Your pickles look delicious and so pretty soaking in the brine. I'd like to see the recipe too if you wouldn't mind posting it.
    Lucky you to have so many cukes. Ours are a way off yet.
    Didn't you get rain today? We had a very soggy day up here, which was very welcome. The gardens and crops needed it badly.

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  8. It's so much fun reading about your new adventures. Yes, it is nice having a yard. Are there any Walmarts around there? I'm wondering if they have canning supplies. Some grocery stores do around here. I hope you find some reasonably priced jars.

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  9. They look good. Now I just have to wait for summer!

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  10. they look SO yummy! once i started pickling, i kept looking for different veggies to pickle. it can become an addiction. homemade pickles definitely ruin your ability to buy store pickles ever again.

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  11. Congrats on a successful canning experience! As someone else said, you can often find used jars at tag sales, or check Craig's list. If not, much as I loathe WalMart, they do have good prices on jars. The jars are an investment as you can use them for many years, some of my jars are older than I am!

    I also agree with the poster who suggested the Ball Blue Book, it is invaluable for canning. If you have extra green beans, try the Dilly Beans. YUM!!!!

    BTW, great job with the cukes! Mine are losing the battle with the wilt and the pumpkin :-(

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  12. That's an outrageous price on those jars. They carry them at any dollar store or Walmart down here in the south.

    Shoot, you can find them at garage sales all the time too.

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