Canning Pickles

This year I ran out of salsa.  I also ran out of pickles.  Which is very sad, seeing as they are one of Ava’s favorite foods.  We planted several cucumber plants (enough to make Momma Kay wonder at the large amount of cucumbers we should get) but with six people in our house who love cucumbers we have had trouble not eating them right away.  So I decided to pick up a half bushel of pickling cucumbers from a local farm and spend an afternoon making some pickles.  Elliott wanted to help, as did the girls, so we made a family event out of it (while Piper was taking a nap).

Ava was in charge of putting a slice of onion in each jar, while Lily was in charge of the garlic and bay leaves.  Then they helped Elliott fill them with cucumbers.  He would get the jar started and then ask them to find the right-sized cucumbers to fill it up.  

Once the jars were stuffed full I would take over, topping them off with the rest of the spices and hot brine.  I sealed them simply by turning them upside down for the night, which usually does the trick, but the next morning many hadn’t sealed so I just ran a couple batches through the hot water bath canner to finish them up. 

All in all we made 24 quarts of pickles – 20 from the half bushel and 4 quarts from our own garden (we had run out pickling cucumbers and had 4 jars prepped, so Elliott ran out to the garden and picked a few of our babies).  I think the total investment ran less than $2 per jar, which I think is a good investment.  Maybe the rest of the summer season will surprise us and cause our cucumber plants to explode with plenty, but I think this was a pretty good start.

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