What: Dill Pickles
Main ingredients and where I got them: The pickling cukes and dill came from my parents’ farm. Henry grew the garlic. The dried chiles were leftover from the ones I strung up last fall.
How much: eight jars (so far)
Recipe: My grandma’s found in the WS archive here.
About jars…I have a serious thing for these Le Parfait terrines. They sell them at my local food co-op, and I’ve been resisting the urge to buy up the whole lot every time I do my grocery shopping. So far, I’ve only taken home five or six in as many trips to the store, and I’ve picked up a few more similar jars at thrift stores over the years. I love them so much. (Here’s something sacrilegious. I kinda don’t “get” Weck jars. I only own one that I thrifted a while back. It seems delicate, and I don’t know how anyone keeps track of those little metal clips. If I’m missing something, please fill me in, but until then, I say Le Parfait over Weck any day of the week.) This is my first time using clamp-down jars for pickles, and they look super pretty, but I’m not totally sure if they are the best choice of vessel for the job. I’ll let you know later.
I definitely won’t be giving away my Le Parfait jars, but I do plan on handing out several vessels of pickles to friends and family, so I made most of my pickles in empty and clean 36 oz. Adams peanut butter jars. I come from a long line of obsessive food-container hoarders, and that might be why I went this route, but these peanut butter jars are actually wider than wide-mouth canning jars, and I think they can hold more cukes also. I used some for pickling last year, and they worked great, so now it’s tradition.
The photo above shows my pickles the day I jarred them up (Sunday). In a couple days, the brine should get cloudy, and they won’t be quite as photogenic. Right around the clouding up phase last year, I did have one jar spontaneously fail and quickly grow a thick layer of stanky mold. I’m not sure what went wrong exactly, but I just figure it’s win some, lose some.
Marisa offers some great tips about how to give your pickles better texture on The Kitchn. Marisa’s blog, Food in Jars, has tons of other pickle suggestions and recipes (among other wonderful things).
This is part of a collection of posts documenting my food preservation activities this summer/fall (more info here). Please feel free to comment with a link to food preservation activities on your own blogs or links to recipes you’re following or you’d like to try from other blogs.