Saturday, January 17, 2009
Yesterday I tackled my first (perhaps only) homemade pickle project. I started with three pounds of pickling cucumbers and a bunch of zesty ingredients, including whole cloves, crushed red pepper, whole yellow mustard seeds, and ground tarragon. It was a little difficult finding the canning jars, because according to the lady at Walmart, they're seasonal. This didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, because I figured people must be canning stuff (spaghetti sauce, pickled vegetables, sauces, jams, etc) all the time, but Walmart is often a mystery, so I just let it go at that. I ended up with some squatty little contemporary-styled (quoting he package) half-pint jars.
After prepping all the ingredients, I still had to figure out how to sterilize the jars (I went with the dishwasher) and the how to pasteurize the pickles once they were done. This required much consultation of both my mother and the Internet. I ended up using a spaghetti pot (with strainer inside) and a kitchen towel to buffer the double-decker layers of pickle jars. It was QUITE an experience, and I've just finished cleaning up all the resultant dishes. The pickles need to marinate for two weeks before I can try them, so I will be fashoning some cute 'Homemade' labels in preparation for giving some jars away.
Submitted by Alyssa Goodnight at 11:35 AM