Community Philosphy Blog and Library

Posts Tagged ‘canning’

HOMEGROWN Life: Getting Into A Pickle

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010






Pickles. I love them. I think they are one of those foods that you
either love or you hate. To be honest, some pickles I hate. But there
are some that I love. I guess you could call me a picky pickle eater.
I love crisp pickles. I love salty pickles. And I love, Love, LOVE
spicy pickles. By process of elimination I don’t like rubbery, overly
sour pickles. Sweet pickles are ho-hum. They have their place though –
for me it’s on a hotdog. The good pickles, the ones I love are not
cheap to buy in the store so I’ve taken on the task of finding the
perfect pickle recipe. I’ve been on the search for this perfect pickle
recipe for a few years now. I found a refrigerated dill pickle recipe
that I adore. The downside though is that it has to stay in your
fridge and it has a shelf life of only 3 months. If I do a large batch
it can take up just too much of my precious refrigerator real estate.
So on I trudged, looking for the perfect storage pickle recipe.
Something I could put on the shelf and keep it until winter. I tried
many. We still have lots of jars of pickles from previous years. My
husband likes them but I don’t. Because of that we just can’t seem to
finish them off. But I think this new recipe is it! The pickles take 2
days to make, unless you start early in the morning.

Pickling Cucumbers cleaned and trimmed
Ice cubes
Pickling Salt
Pickling Spice
Distilled Vinegar
Garlic Cloves
Dried chilies (optional – I like a little spice)
Dill flower heads or dried dillweed or dill seeds
Mustard Seeds

cucumbers brining

Day 1
1. In a large non-reactive crock layer cucumbers and ice alternating.
2. For every 8lbs of cucumbers dissolve 1 cup of salt with 8 cups of
water. Pour over cucumbers and add cold water if needed to completely
cover them. Put a clean plate over the cucumbers and weight down with
a water filled mason jar so that the pickles stay submerged rather
than float to the service. Refrigerate for 12-18 hours.
dill mustard garlic
Day 2
1. Prepare jars and lids. Start boiling bath in canner. Make sure to
have enough water in the canner to cover jars by at least 1″.
2. Tie 2-4 Tbs pickling spice in a square of cheesecloth to create a spice bag.
3. In a stainless steel pot combine 4 parts water, 3 parts vinegar,
pickling salt, sugar and spice bag. For ever 8 cups of water add 3/4
cup salt and 1/4 cup sugar. Make sure to boil enough of this mixture
for the number of jars you have. Bring this mixture to a boil and then
simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Rinse off cucumbers with cold water and pack tightly into jars
leaving a generous 1/2″ head space. To each jar add I dill head (or 1
Tbs dill seeds or chopped dillweed), 1-2 cloves of garlic, a chili
pepper or two, and 1 tsp mustard seeds.

packed in jars
5. Ladle hot liquid into jars covering pickles. Remove air bubbles and
then adjust head space to 1/2″. Wipe rim and close lids until
fingertip tight.
5. Place jars in boiling water canner and process for 10 minutes.
Remove jars and then allow to cool. Jars should seal as they cool.
processed pickles

And that’s it! You’ll have tasty, crisp, salty (and spicy) pickles to
put up. Enjoy!

You can visit my website for more
wonderful recipes.


Rachel Brinkerhoff, Dog Island Farm

My friends in college used to call me a Renaissance woman. I was always doing something crafty, creative, or utilitarian. I still am. My focus these days, instead of arts and crafts, has been farming as much of my urban quarter acre as humanly possible. With my husband, we run Dog Island Farm in the SF Bay Area. We raise chickens, goats, rabbits, dogs, cats, and a kid. We’re always keeping busy. If I’m not out in the yard I’m in the kitchen making something from scratch. Homemade always tastes better!

Canvolution! Can-o-rama Cantacular

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

This weekend was the national Canning Across America celebration of all things preserved. Did you participate in a Canvolution or another less-official-o-rama? Tell us about it!

Linsey from the Cake and Commerce blog organized a fabulous event at a Thai tapas restaurant in Somerville, MA.  Linsey explains her passion this way:

After staunchly maintaining an anti-corporate stance (I did my internship between first and second year at a small goat dairy in California and worked as a cheese buyer and importer in NYC after graduation), I ended up at a publicly traded food company working in their coffee division. When the company reorganzied, I ended up in the Culinary Group (most food companies have staff chefs to help customers develop new products) and then moved into Innovation.

I started Cake and Commerce in 2005 as a way to keep some focus on real food in my free time while spending my days helping restaurant chains develop new menu items. Over time, as my soul was sucked dry from the work I was doing, I found myself becoming more radicalized in my beliefs and practices around food. Although I have always been a careful eater and a passionate cook, I became more so during my time at the company.

Read Linsey’s blog about the Can-O-Rama Cantacular here.

Alex from Feed Me Like You Mean It taught folks how to make sauerkraut and is self-described obsessed with lactofermentation.

pressure cooker

Nika is an Ex-Urban Homesteader (she lives in the exurbs, is formerly an urbanite, and is a modern homesteader) who showed us how not to be afraid of pressure canning. She reported on the Canvolution on her blog Nikas Culinaria.

What an incredible gathering of people! Everyone went home with a yummy and nutritious array of freshly-preserved local veggies, and another preserving gathering is in the works! Bravo-a-rama!

DIY Holiday Gifts – Preserves and canning

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Because glass jars are just so cool. Wrapped with a pretty ribbon – tie on an antique spoon for flair – and you’re ready to give.

Pumpkin preserves from Backwoods Home Magazine

Boysenberry, Cranberry and Pink Grapefruit Preserves from Epicurious

A pretty thorough how-to web site

Mother Earth News article on Community Canning – kind of like a cook-off and a potluck, but you take food home!

photos courtesy of Cornelia (left), Creative Commons on Flickr users (center) and Ben Harris-Roxas (right)