Making Pickles

Making Pickles

This has been a year when four tomato plants and four cucumber plants have tried to produce more than I wanted to pick.  I hear other gardens have been just as prolific.  In the past I did not mind canning and pickle making  but I am not happy with a few plants causing me extra work when I am ready to be lazy.  It means I also need to can those products as I am adamant regarding throwing away good food.

When it became evident that I was going to need to make pickles, I started in my recipe file and on to many of my ‘collection of cookbooks’ trying to find the easiest and least work to make a few (a few, that is) pickles.  The next problem was “where did I put my canning supplies”?  I began looking in all the places where they were supposed to be as well as looking where they were not supposed to be.  I called my daughter to see if I had given them to her.  I tried to remember if in a moment of actual getting rid of equipment that I no longer planned to use at my current age, did I sell them in a yard sale?  After wasting time for several days looking in every possible place where they might be, a son suggested that purchasing the basics I needed would not cost much.  Right! He took me to a local store and I got what I needed.

The first batch of pickles that I planned to make were “Lazy Day Pickles” which do not require being sealed and they will keep in the refrigerator for several months.  They also can be made in odd jars of various sizes so back to the workshop to get a box of such jars.  As I was taking the box from the shelf, I noticed at the back was my filler funnel and my tongs as well as a bag of pickling salt – well, you know the rest of the story.  There was what I had been searching to find for several days and the box did have a great identification label telling what was in the box.  Problem was the box had been put on the shelf with a label end to the back.  After the assigned 8 days to make, we have tasted the “Lazy Day Pickles” and sure enough, they are crisp, tasty and a success.

I needed a good and easy Dill Pickle recipe.  Could I find one I could make in pint jars with dill weed instead of fresh dill?  No, so I did find a recipe I used over 75 years ago when I made dills in gallon jars!  Found another in one of my collection books and ‘sorta’ put them together.  Sorry, have to wait 5 weeks to taste test to see if it was a good experiment.  They look really pretty is all I know at this time.

The other pickles that I plan putting time and effort making will be some Bread and Butter that I like.  The family are dill hounds but with Vidalia onions added to the B & B’s, they make a summer sausage/cheddar cheese on a snack cracker the best evening snack to enjoy.  Maybe I need to fix a few as soon as I get this story finished.

As much as we have enjoyed bacon/tomato/onion sandwiches this year, next year I believe the limit will be one plant of each.  I did complain this year but I am glad for my pickle supply.