We Made Pickles!!

Anyone who knows me knows I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY like pickles. It all started when I was about 4 or 5 years old when an older cousin of mine would come to visit. She showed me how to open my mother's Tupperware pickle container. (Who out there remembers Tupperware??) You see, she was a pickle lover, too. Once she showed me that, it was over. I think I had a pickle or two every day until my parents find out! LOL I can still "see" that green Tupperware container on the door of our burnt-orange colored refrigerator in my mind. (Can't you tell I'm a child of the late 70's??)

Fast forward some years and that love of pickles still hasn't left me. So, my sweet mother-in-law (Mother, as she is affectionately called) and I decided we would make pickles this summer. One morning, she came by and we loaded the kids in the van and drove out to the Amish market. We were looking for fresh pickling cucumbers, dill sprigs, garlic cloves and dried red peppers. While there, we stopped by the pickle counter to taste the many varieties of pickles they have. (Mother and I are kindred pickle eaters!) One of the Amish women shared some of her sister's canning tips when making pickles and we were eager listeners, as neither of us had ever made pickles before.

Dill sprigs, garlic cloves,
dried peppers, quartered pickling cucumbers
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Well, we prepared our jars and made our pickling solution by boiling vinegar, water, and salt. We packed each jar tightly with cuccumbers, adding dill sprigs, garlic and peppers.Then we poured the vinegar solution in each jar. Then we boiled the jars again to seal the deal! This is an EXTREMELY condensed version of canning pickles. I am not going to attempt to outline the complete process here, no "how-to's". Why not? I am NOT a pro, and some things we figured out as we went along, and well, I don't want to confuse you. Just know that it was a long, steamy, boiling hot process, with lots of good conversation, laughter, and high hopes that things would turn out well.

 
Mother, me, and our first batch of pickles!
Can't you see how happy we are?

Don't they look good?
We let them cool, untouched over night. We ended up with 9 jars and they all sealed correctly. (Yay!) We tried to wait until Labor Day to try them, which means they would have time to sit for a little over 3 weeks, soaking up those yummy flavor combinations. But, we only made it about 2 weeks. We went over to visit my in-laws and this is what Mother said to me, "Lena, (her nickname for me) I made a sandwich yesterday and I really wanted a pickle to go with it! So, I just had to try them since I didn't have any other pickles in the house." LOL!!!

Guess what, they are SO good. They have a bit of a spicy kick and are so flavorful. I can never eat just one, always 2 (and sometimes 3--I told you I like pickles). They are crisp and give a great crunch. My husband, who is NOT a pickle eater, thought they were really good, too. My mother-in-law shared a jar with some of her co-workers and some of them have offered to pay, asking if they can place an order! :) That's sweet, but I'm not sure about that. . . canning is hard work! :) I've got to practice more before I'd feel comfortable taking orders. {{My hat goes off to the women who came before me (and those even now) who worked the land and canned and preserved to provide food for their families.}}

It was a fun experience and we learned a lot. Our next canning adventure: apple jelly! Right in time for fall.

What Joy Is Mine



8 comments:

  1. Oh, they look good!! Apple jelly sounds good too!! Canning with people you love is the best!!!:) have a blessed fall!

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  2. Replies
    1. Don't worry, Mom. I'll save some for you. :)

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  3. Yeah for you!!! It's fun to can isn't it? And the rewards are the best. Happy pickle eating. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jen! It is fun; I'm already thinking of growing tomatoes next summer, just so I can make and can spaghetti sauce. We'll see!

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  4. They look so yummy! I am a pickle lover too!

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    Replies
    1. I knew there was something kindred between us! LOL

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