Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Let The Pickling Begin!

I made my first batch of pickles today.  Usually only pickling cukes for two kinds of pickles come out of my garden, into the kitchen and onto the pantry shelves.  Bread and butter pickles and dill pickles.

For the dill pickles, I like to harvest the cucumbers when they are on the smallish side, because I think they stay crisper that way.  Bigger than gherkin size but not much more than 3" in length.  For my bread and butter pickles though, I prefer larger slices . . . which come from larger cucumbers.  I'm picky that way.  (Hmmm, the picky pickler.)

Because I've got about a dozen quarts of dill pickles still in the pantry from last canning season (yeah, I got a little carried away), but no bread and butter pickles, getting my yearly quota of them put by first and foremost is high on my list.

So the first harvest of the pickling cucumbers was put off for a short time until the cukes reached the size I wanted.  When I checked the vines this morning, I decided I there were enough "big" cukes to make a batch of bread and butter pickles.


Beginning the process on my kitchen table earlier today.


And, ta-dah!  Magically (ha!), the first batch of 8 pints is out of the canner and cooling.

Another batch tomorrow?  I'll have to wait and see what the cucumber patch has ready for me.

20 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you FINALLY can get your pickle on MamaPea. I still have bread and butter pickles in basement so I'm not canning any. Good thing since I came home to dead plants after fair. Keep on Canning!

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    1. Lisa - I knew you'd be tickled I can pickle! Such a bummer your garden suffered so much while you were gone. If only you'd had a couple of rains during that time . . .

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  2. I want to make some bread and butter pickles. I've never made them before.

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    1. Laurie - My daughter and I are great fans of bread and butter pickles, but hubby sticks to the dills. Hope you do try them. They're great on burgers or many other sandwiches.

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    1. SmartAlex - I just couldn't resist that! :o]

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  4. I'm still debating whether I'll do pickles this year. How long do you have to process your pickles in the hot water? Mine always turn out mushy no matter what I've done. So far we always use fresh small cucumbers, we keep them whole, we cut the blossom end off, soak them in ice water for 2 hours before pickling. I was going to use this pickle fresh stuff but it has some nasty stuff in it so didn't. Does anyone have any other tips or methods to keep your dill pickles from getting too soft?

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    1. Sparkless - I process my pickles for 30 minutes. Yes, I've read that about cutting off the blossom end of the cukes to insure they stay crispy, but I've never noticed it made a difference so I don't do it anymore. I've never used the pickle fresh stuff . . . and really don't want to. I think the secret to getting crispy dills is to make sure it's a really short time from picking to processing. My dills stay crisp enough for me to be satisfied with them. Also don't let them get too big before picking . . . about 3" in length max.

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  5. I was getting all my pickles done the other day I may have a go at doing some bread and butter pickles, there are still plenty of cues coming on :-)

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    1. Dawn - It always suprises me how long the pickling cukes bear on the vines. Prolific little buggers!

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  6. Our cucumbers did not do well at all this year, so no pickling here. :( Yours are beautiful and looks like a nice harvest!

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    1. Lisa - Your cukes sound like my green peppers. Seems there's always something that is a failure each year. I'm betting your weather was just too hot for your cukes.

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  7. One year we had a bumper crop of them, and canned about four different recipes. We like the bread and butter pickles the best. I still have a few jars to get us through winter/spring. I'm grateful to have them considering we are not pickling this year. Your jars look great!

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    1. Kristina - Thanks! I don't plant pickling cucumbers every year either. Usually every other year 'cause I can get enough canned to last that long. They take up a lot of room in the garden so one year it's the pickling cukes, the next winter squash.

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  8. I finally gave up on canning pickles. My kids and I love them, but not hubby. I started fermenting instead, much faster and better for your tummy with all those probiotics. I can easily store them in the fridge and all done!

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    1. Nancy - I've tried making some pickles with the fermenting method but haven't found a recipe that makes ones I'm crazy about. Care to share your tried-and-true recipe?

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  9. I love bread and butter pickles! I am now fond of my half-sour dills, too, but they are only a fleeting treat, as they are refrigerator pickles. Do your dills stay crunchy?

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    1. Susan - Yes, I've had good luck with my dills staying crunchy. I think the secret is getting them from garden to pantry shelf within a few hours. I try to do that with everything from the garden that I preserve . . . whether frozen or canned.

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  10. I love bread & butter pickles. I have a friend from IL that always brings me a few jars when she visits in Feb. Can't wait to make them myself!

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    1. DFW - What a good friend you have! I think gifting folks with a jar or so of your own canned goods is the nicest gift. You know a person has put a lot of him or herself into it!

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