Monday, August 27, 2012

Dilly Veggies

We don't do a lot of pickling in our house, I'm not really sure why. We love dilly beans, but I think it's easy to forget that we have them when they aren't really a staple food in our diet. My husband also isn't a fan of pickles so I didn't feel like I could justify making a huge batch just for me.

We've been making dilly beans for a couple of years now because we do love them, and love to give them as gifts. The Food in Jars Recipe is pretty close to what we do, although we do use dill weed instead of seed.

This year we got a great deal on a giant bag of beans at the farmers market and they also had giant bags of cucumbers. We decided that for $20 we were willing to experiment with pickles. Maybe Brian would like them more if we make them ourselves?

Dilly bean and pickle recipes are very similar. I got recipes from my friend Sue and from Food in Jars and decided to take elements from both.

Follow the Water Bath Canning Method for prepping the jars and canning the goods.

Since we got cucumbers late in the season they were a bit bigger. We decided to keep the smallest ones whole, and experiment with different shapes for the larger ones. Some were quartered and some were sliced. The quartered cucumbers packed best in the jars.

Brine: Some recipes call for cider vinegar, some for white. We decided to experiment with them. We did some with white, some with cider, and some with a mix of both vinegars. The brine is half vinegar and half water with 5 tablespoons of salt for every 8 cups of liquid. We basically just heated batches of the brine until all the jars were full, since we weren't really sure how much we were going to need.

Spices: Some of the dill weed we bought had gone to seed so I spent some time separating out the best dill weed and pulling the seeds off the rest. Instead of crushed red pepper we decided to try using some dried De Arbol Chile peppers that we had in the pantry. Since we used several different jar sizes, here are the ratios of spices we used for each:

Pint Jar:
-1/2 tsp dill seed or 1 spring dill weed
-1 garlic clove
-1/2 tsp pepper corn
-1 dried chile

Quart Jar:
-1 tsp dill seed or 2 springs dill weed
-2 garlic cloves
-1/2 tsp pepper corn
-1 dried chile

1/2 Gallon Jar:
-2 tsps dill seed or 4 springs dill weed
-4 garlic clove
-1 tsp pepper corn
-2 dried chile

Now we get to wait. One month from the canning date we're going to have a tasting to see which vinegar we liked the best. Check back for the reviews!

No comments:

Post a Comment