Canning is one of the best ways to make sure you have left overs. I’m not sure about you, but I have a horrible problem of going to the Farmer’s Markets and not just buying what I need. But are we to blame? Who knew the peaches would smell so good, and were only $2.50 (as opposed to four dollars the week before) or that tomatoes were finally in season, or that you would stumble across cucumbers for a dollar a pound. Saving is saving, and if you’re an avid food lover as I am, then you’ll make use of everything that enters you refrigerator.
Last week I went a little overboard (maybe really overboard) and bought four pounds of cucumbers because they were only a dollar a pound. Sure my intent was to pickle them, who doesn’t love a good pickle? But I got home and realized I didn’t have enough room in my refrigerator to keep four pounds of pickles in it. They definitely couldn’t be left out, so I began to think…”How can I make use of all this?”, without forcefully eating pickles just so they won’t go bad. “Should I just give them away?” But that meant I would have to buy containers to put them in.
I was in a real pickle. <–get it…
Then it hit me!
I could can them! If I put them into canning jars, not only would I be able to leave them at room temperature because they have been sterilized, but now I also had a container put them in in order to share them with my friends.
I went to the store bought a 12 pack of canning jars and a canning kit. For about $35.
I didn’t know much about canning, so I did some research:
Water-bath Canning it is the preferred method of canning foods that have high acidity, so it was the method to use when pickling.
The MOST important thing about canning is that everything has to be cleaned and sterilized in order to prevent Botulism. A Food-borne illness caused by improperly canned foods, that paralyzes your respiratory system and can lead to death.
Sounds intense, but if you sterilize your work surface, make yourself some space, and follow the directions, you’ll be in good shape.
So I made my pickling liquid, sliced the cucumbers, and sterilized my jars. I then followed the directions for how to fill the jars and processed them for the time specified.
Upon taking them out and putting them on a rack, to cool down, excitement hit me. I had just done something that My great grandparents accepted as part of their everyday lives, and I was excited to hear the “pop!” sound of the jars signifying they had been sealed correctly.
I yielded 5 pints of sliced pickles and one 3 quart jar of whole pickles. My friends loved them, and so did I
What kind of a food pickle have you been in lately? What have you Pickled lately?