since having visited the farmers market a few days ago (i finally went berry picking!) i picked up some pickling cucumbers and now have six jars of my first-ever homemade dill pickles. they look delicious, all sitting there on the counter all ready to be eaten.
now i just have to wait six weeks.
yep - sunday was a productive day. i made tons of raspberry jam in little gift-sized containers, froze the remainder of the berries, and learned how to make pickles. i would have made pickled beets, too, if they had been ready to be harvested.
soon, my pets - soon. i'll go back in another week or two and will get a huge bag. i've got a pickling date with my mom and liz, our neighbour.
i'll have beet juice all over my apron and it'll apparently take all day but heck - it'll be delicious. and then i'll be able to say that i'm officially an experienced pickler. sort of.
i just need to get some of the timing down around when the sanitized jars & lids are ready to go on, and i'll be ready to rock. for my pickling expedition last weekend, i ran my jars through the dishwasher and left them in there after the heat-dry cycle had completed, taking them out one by one as i needed them. i kept the lids in a boiling pot of water next to my "filling station", taking them out one at a time when i was ready to seal up each jar, using tongs. it seemed to work pretty well - i just had to time it properly so that everything was ready around the time the dishwasher was finished. i'd messed it up when i was making my jam - the dishwasher was still running and the pectin, sugar and berries were all ready to go into the jars, which caused for a moment or two of momentary panic - but it all worked out well in the end.
as it turns out, jam doesn't set very quickly. phew.
to make some deliciously easy dill pickles of your own, clean off the cucumbers with a rough brush and leave them in ice water overnight. in the morning, slice them into halves or quarters, depending on the size of the jar then just combine:
6 cups of water
6 cups of white vinegar
1/2 cup coarse salt
in a pot, and bring to a boil until the salt dissolves. after that, drop a sprig of fresh dill into each freshly-sanitized hot jar along with half a clove of garlic. pack the container with cucumber spears and ladle the still-boiling vinegar mixture into the jar. put another sprig of dill in, if you'd like, then - being careful not to touch the sanitized lid by placing it on the jar opening with some tongs, close up the jar and set aside for 4-6 weeks.
now the only tricky part is airing out the kitchen so it doesn't smell like dilly vinegar for a day afterwards.