Thursday, September 1, 2011

If I Can, You Can...

The things we do for the things we love....forget about the people we love for now because this is about things, k. I love pickles. I love pickles more than I love some of the folks in my life :) 

Last year, after reading and thinking about it for a year, I ventured into that weird world of canning. It went better than I thought it would, and we had cute little jars of apple jalapeno jelly, cherry jam and enough apple butter to last a year. I did that! 

It did take some of the fun out of shopping in cute little gourmet shops and road side stands because I knew that I could bang out 6 jars of pomegranate cherry jelly for the price of the one cute jar.

Anyway, this year I was determined to can jars and jars of pickles. Enough pickles so that I could have a whole jar of the things to myself every day! And then I went to Florida and left my garden to the likes of Hobo Joe. So sad. 

No worries though, because we will still have some. And I am hoping to score some really cheap from the farmers market now that they are popping like Rice Krispies! 

And I love that I am easily able to wrangle everyone else into doing these little projects for/with me :) 
The help

When I was ten I fancied myself a Laura Ingalls in the making, but honestly, doing it all the old way is too much work.  Pickling is all very precise. I used Mrs. Wages Kosher Dill Pickles Quick Process Mix ($3). They are ready to eat in 24 hrs but best after a couple weeks! 
The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest: 150 Recipes for Freezing, Canning, Drying and Pickling Fruits and Vegetables is my favorite book for things to try. I bought it after reading through about 20 books at the library and Borders, may she rest in peace.

Next up, sweet pickles for Hobo!

Oh, if you are ever in Galena, IL, there is this awesome little canning company on Main Street-- Galena Canning Company.  Last time I was there, they had all their jams and jellies in these gorgeous French recycled cut glass jars that double as glasses. I would drive all the way out there just to grab the glasses, oh and their to die for meat sauces.