The Canning Adventures of A First Timer!
The Summer is slowly coming to an end and the kids and I have truly enjoyed our first experience as a family creating our two raised bed organic gardens. The kids learned a lifelong lesson of how to grow their own food. When we decided to plant our crops we mutually agreed on planting pickling cucumbers in hopes that we would receive a harvest to at least pickle one pint of cucumber for canning. Often we would harvest a few full size cucumbers for our romaine salads which were also grown in our garden.
Finally the time arrived where we could harvest a few cucumbers and start our first pickling process. We conducted research online looking for the perfect recipe and after not having much luck we decided to purchase a Quick Process Pickle Mix from our local market along with a case of pint size Mason Jars for canning. The process wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be in fact it was actually a fun process for the kids and I.
9-11 lbs pickling cucumbers (about 50 3-4 inches)
3 1/3 Cup of Distilled Vinegar
7 1/2 Cups Water
1 pouch Mrs. Wages Kosher Dill Pickles Mix
Wash cucumbers and drain. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard. Leave cucumbers whole or cut into spears or slices.
Combine Distilled Vinegar, water and Mrs. Wages Kosher Dill Pickles Mix into a large non-reactive saucepan. Do not use aluminum. Bring the mixture just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture dissolves. Remove from heat.
Pack cucumbers into sterilized hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Evenly divide hot pickling liquid among the packed jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim and cap each jar as it is filled.
Process pints for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. Turn off heat, carefully jars. Let the jars sit undisturbed to cool at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. Pickles will be ready to eat after 24 hours. Before serving chill to enhance flavor and crispness. Store processed shelf-stable product in a cool place, and use within 1 year.
The next day we went back to our garden and was able to harvest a few more cucumber plus some okra that we let stay out too long. We were able to make one jar of spears and one of slices. We are letting the okra dry out to use the seed for planting in 2016.
~Naturalbabydol, BJ & MJ