**this post was longer than intended, check back tomorrow for jam making photos!**
With abundant produce during the summer months, its time to think about preserving food for the rest of the year. Drying, freezing, and canning are all popular methods for “putting food by” for later months. We’ve recently been trying our hand at canning some of the produce from the garden and learning to make jam from a local master.
Michelle and I made dill pickles about a week ago from 6lbs of fresh cucumbers and some garlic from the garden. The dill seeds came from Twin Springs Farm. We made a total of 4 pints and 3 quarts – quite a few pickles! While we will enjoy a few this summer (who doesn’t love a fresh pickle?!), we’ll also plan to save a few jars to share at future garden potlucks. The classic recipe we used is from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (America’s #1 Cookbook since 1930!):
3 lbs 4-inch pickling cucumbers (or whatever kind you have available – we used A&C pickling and spacemaster varieties)
3 3/4 cups water
3 3/4 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup pickling salt (non-iodized)
12 to 18 heads fresh dill or 6 tablespoons dill seeds (per pint)
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
*fresh garlic cloves for Kosher style
The general process was as follows (not exactly as written in recipe):
1. Wash the cucumbers well and slice into spears while jars are sterilizing. Combine water, vinegar, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Pack cucumbers loosely in jars and add fresh dill or dill seeds and mustard seed. (*omit mustard seeds and add 1 clove garlic, halved to each jar). Pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumbers leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe jars and apply lids.
3. Process in a boiling water bath for 10-mins. Remove jars and let cool until all jars seal. Let stand 1 week before enjoying. Sealed pickles will keep for approximately 1 year.
Here’s what the process looked like: