It has begun…summertime canning. I’ve been terrified of the canning process until now, which is why I have always opted to freeze my tomato sauce instead of canning it. But I think it is time for me to overcome this fear.
I know refrigerator pickles aren’t considered real canning, but it is a good first step because it allows me to test out my pickle recipe before committing to a large quantity. And the farmers market had such gorgeous pickling cukes a few weeks ago – I just couldn’t resist.
In order to overcome my fear of canning, I hit up the library and brought home a stack of canning books. After reading through them all from start to finish, I narrowed in on one particular recipe for pickles. I headed over to my local Ace Hardware store (best place for canning supplies, in my opinion) and picked up a case of Ball canning jars (which are now available with BPA free seals).
I started off by boiling my quart jars – I soon learned that having proper canning tongs would have been super helpful (put that on my next shopping list!). As they dried, I cut the pickling cukes into quarters lengthwise, and set my brine on the stove. I stuffed the cucumbers, garlic, dill and other spices into the jars and then poured the hot brine over them.
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1/2 cup canning salt
- 15 pickling cukes quartered lengthwise
- 1 tsp of mustard seed
- 3 to 4 sprigs fresh dill
- 2 cloves of garlic for each jar
- 1/2 jalapeño per jar, if desired
- Bring water, white vinegar, salt and mustard seeds to a boil – ensure all the salt is dissolved.
- Prepare the cucumbers, dill, garlic and jalapeño – place into boiled canning jars.
- Pour hot brine into jars, cover and leave the on the countertop for 24 hours.
- Place jars in refrigerator and wait at least 3 weeks – some would argue you should keep them in even longer (that’s the hard part!). Pickles will keep for at least 2 months.