Simple Canned Pickles for Dummies like me, lol!
I canned pickles today! Two types, Dill and just pickles and onions, I also canned a couple jars of Jalapeno peppers! This is something I really enjoyed doing with my Grammie and Mom growing up. It was kinda like the icing on the cake for a gardener. See what you have grown being preserved. Its fun and its very easy, Its also a dieing art that needs to be taught to our children.
Here is the Basic Recipe, you can customize it to your tastes and likings:
|The Redeemed Gardener|
4 lbs any vegetables (harder ones work better)
2 3/4 C Vinegar
3 C Water
1/4 C Sea Salt or Canning Salt (make sure it's not iodized)
When everything is set up and prepared, mix your pickle juice ingredients - salt, vinegar, water - and heat them up in a pot on the stove. Stir until salt dissolves.
Spices commonly used in pickling spice :
Coriander, Fennel, Dill, Black pepper corns, Dried red peppers, Mustard Seed, any spice you want!
Rather than using commercial pickling spice, play and blend the spices! Put a fair amount of the spices at the bottom of the jars, but save some to top them off.
For sweet pickles, add sugar. For smoky pickles, add black cardamom, chipotles, etc. After you add the spice, pack the vegetables into the jars ( the tighter the better or as we say in West Virginia "the Fuller the Better"). Pour the hot pickle juice over the pickles, leaving 1/4-1/2" head space at the top. Use the corner of your clean towel to wipe off the band mouth of the jar before you put the lid or the band on, so that there is no solids blocking the seal. Put the lid and the band on and tighten finger tight. Note: we always put the lids in boiling water right before we put them on for a few minutes (this kills bacteria and helps make the rubber softer for a better seal) .
Caution! Make sure to load the hot jars on the clean towel, and to use hot pickle juice, because the heat differential between jars, the juice and the counter can cause the jars to explode! Trust me I have had it happen and no matter how careful you are you will as well.
Put the jars into a hot water bath. Make sure there is at least 1" of water covering the lids, and bring to a boil. Boil for 10-14 minutes (add 5 min for every 1000 feet above sea level you are). If boiled for less time, there is a greater risk that it won't seal or kill the bacteria, but your pickles will be crisper! Longer times will result in greater safety, but softer pickles.
When done pull jars out of Hot water bath and set on towels to cool and seal. Listen for the pooping sound. Then do the push test on the lid to make sure they are sealed. It doesn't take long!
Have fun and make it a family project!