Monday, August 16, 2010
What Do You Do When.....
You have a monster cucumber plant? You make pickles! My boys are the vegetable gardeners in the house and I do the flower gardens. I should say that they plant the veggies, water some and then usually leave the rest including harvesting up to me. This years cucumber plant is huge. The boys have trellised the cucumber up three 12' piece of conduit piping that has been slightly bent and fanned out.
So when the weather forecast for this weekend was lots cooler, I started bothering the hubby to dig the canner out of the garage. When yesterday turned out to be a rainy day stuck in the 70's, it was the perfect day.
So I gathered up all the supplies I needed including the handy dandy Ball Blue Book, The Canning Bible to get started. After reading the Bread and Butter Pickles recipe, I decided that it would have to be changed some. I had to omit the onion as the hubby has food allergies to onion. So I decided to substitute garlic instead. So I weighed the cucumber, sliced them up along with the 6 garlic cloves and layered them in a bowl with pickling salt. I then had to wait 1½ hours before the cucumbers were ready.
I went about making the liquid/spice part of the recipe. Once that was done and my 1½ hours were up, I drain and rinsed the cucumber slices. They were delightfully garlic flavored. I proceed to add them to the pickling spice mix and bring to a boil and pack the jars for processing.
So while I was on a roll and already had all the canning stuff out, I decided to make up some wild black raspberry jam. Late last summer, my hubby and youngest brought home all these wild black raspberries that they picked from the bushes on our 6 acres that we own in the country. So I washed them and flash froze them, putting them in freezer bags for a cooler time to make jam.
The pickles turned out yummy as we had a few slices left that couldn't fit in the jars, so hopefully will make a few more jars before the cucumber plant gives out. We still don't know how the jam has turned out as there wasn't any extra to try out but I know it won't be long before the hubby digs into the homemade jam. I'm sure it will be wonderful.
I haven't canned since my boys were little and now I remember why...it takes so long to get everything done. My 8 jars of effort took me over 3 hours to produce. I know the freshness and quality will be far superior to anything store bought and I guess that will have to be my reward for the time spent.