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!
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!
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!