Monday, July 2, 2012

Canning 101 Week 1 - Spicy Pickles and a #giveaway



Hello! And welcome to the first week of Canning 101! Let me start by saying I am NOT a canning professional. In fact, I only started canning myself a few months back. But that is what inspired me to start this series. You see, I know there are a TON of women out there just like me who want to start canning but are afraid that it is too complicated. Let me tell you, if I can do it, so can you!

As I have mentioned before, my grandmother taught me a lot about cooking. She bred in me a love for food and the notion that taking the time to prepare a home cooked meal for your family was a top way to show them just how much you care. Shortly before my grandmother passed she had given us a bunch of sticky notes and told us to go around the house and put our name on whatever we wanted to claim after she was gone (morbid I know). There were only two things I cared to mark - my great grandmother's china and my grandmother's cookbooks.

There have been so many wonderful recipes that I have come across over the years since she has passed each one written by my grandmother's hand. In 2011 it was our family's New Year's resolution to try and start eating more fresh. Cutting out unneeded preservatives and chemicals from our diet (notice I did not say low fat!). One of the things I wanted to try doing more of was growing a garden and canning. Not only does it cut out the unwanted junk but it can also save you a heck of a lot of money! Imagine my surprise and pure joy when, a couple months ago while thumbing through the cookbooks, I found a hand bound book of only about 15 pages all written in my great great grandmother's hand. It was a sign to me that now was as good a time as ever to start trying out some recipes and stocking my food storage!


For week one I though I would start with something easy. I have seriously had an over growth of peppers and cucumbers in the garden this year so first thought - Spicy Pickles!!



I have been buying pickles from a local farmer's market for the past couple years and every time I do I always think - I bet I could make these myself! It was much easier than I thought and you don't even have to boil them to seal them (unless you plan on shelving them for an extended period of time). These babies can stay in your fridge for up to 6 months!










Ingredients: 

  • 6 pickling cucumbers
  • 4 jalapenos
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed 
  • 1 bulb of garlic, chopped into chunks
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorn per jar
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper per jar

Directions:

Chop cucumbers and jalapenos into desired pickle thickness. In a large pot over medium heat mix vinegars, water, sugar and salt until dissolved. In a cheesecloth wrap the dill and pickling spices and drop into water and bring to a boil. (If you don't have cheesecloth you can put it directly into the brine you will just have to pour it through a strainer before you add it to your jars)

Meanwhile, drop chunks of garlic (3-4 chunks for a half pint) and peppers into jar. Top with the slices of cucumbers and jalapenos. Once brine is ready pour in jars to cover cucumbers leave 1/4 inch head room. Tighten on lids and place immediately into refrigerator while still hot. Lids will seal themselves from the pressure. Don't open them for at least 2 weeks and then enjoy your yummy pickles!

  
Now for the fun part!!

Do you have a canning recipe you would like to share? Link up your post below! Be sure to enter the weekly giveaway this week for your chance to win a Presto Canning Kit!






a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 comments:

  1. I remember canning with my Mother, who had a table with kids seated, all peeling scalded peaches.

    We had shelves of canned stuff in our basement. I haven't done anything like that in years!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been looking for a recipe on canning refried beans.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love pickles! I'm really looking forward to your canning series. I want to can, but I'm always turned off by the amount of sugar in the various recipes and I'm afraid to reduce the amount due to botulism fears. I need to educate myself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shelby,
      Thought you might find this article interesting concerning making jams/jellies with "no sugar" needed pectin and sugar substitutes! Happy canning! :) http://www.ochef.com/608.htm

      Delete
  4. Great giveaway! I'll share my recipe for spiced pear chutney: http://www.familyfeedbag.com/2011/09/spiced-pear-chutney.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have been thinking about canning pickles, your recipe looks fun and easy! I am glad you shared your recipe, canning professional or not, it looks wonderful! Hugs, Terra

    ReplyDelete

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