Pickles

Right now, I have more cucumbers than I know what to do with.  I must have optimum cucumber growing conditions this year because they are HUGE and abundant.  Since I use heirloom seeds, I was unsure how many would germinate and/or thrive.  So this spring, I planted six cucumber seeds.  Of course, all six lived. 

For weeks, we’ve been eating them raw, sliced for salads or just for snacks with ranch dressing, and I still have a ton.  So I decided I would try my hand at garlic dill pickles.

As I’ve said before, I’m new to canning, so my goal was just to successfully process a batch – regardless of what they end up tasting like.  I can work on that after I’ve mastered everything else!

Since my cucumbers were so big, I decided to do “chunks” instead of whole or spears.  And since I had so many, I decided on quarts instead of pints.  I looked through several of the blogs I follow for pickle recipes and recommendations.  It seems everyone has their own way of canning pickles!

cucs

I decided on a method that involves using cold cucs so as to keep them more crisp.  I was nervous at first because you aren’t supposed to put cold food into hot jars – you risk breakage due to the rapid change in temperature.  I asked the blogger and was told that as long as I didn’t pack the jars too tightly (with the cold cucs pressing up against the hot glass), I should be fine.

So, with much trepidation (seriously, I fretted about this all day!), I set about packing and processing my cucs.

Well guess what?

I did seven quarts of pickles today in my stock pot, and I didn’t break a single jar!  And they all sealed!  I’m so excited, I think I’m getting the hang of this!  I have absolutely no idea what they will taste like, but I don’t care.  I did it!

pickles

I still have a ton of cucs leftover.  I think I may donate them to a neighbor or two . . . or six.

Mental note:  Plant only one or two cucumber plants next year!

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