I’m not much of a pickler

Pickles...Last week I picked up a fun little book at the library–Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon is a great stash of ‘kitchen projects’–including pickles, bacon, and marshmallows, oh my.  The photos are enticing and the instructions, while they could sometimes be a little fuller, are preceded by interesting anecdotes.  But today I tried the pickle recipe, and frankly, I’m not sure it went well.  And I don’t think it’s the book’s fault–I suspect it’s me.

I should tell you that this isn’t the first time I’ve tried to make pickles, and that last time, it did not go well, either.  Mr. Pea and I made pickles several years ago and the process left us mostly with burns and rather un-tasty specimens.  As such, my hopes weren’t especially high for these pickles, even though my canning experience has increased.

The pickle recipe from Jam It includes a lot of herbs.  A lot.  They fill up about 1/2-1″ of the pint jar, which made it then really hard for me to get my pickle spears and slices in comfortably.  According to the recipe, 3 pounds of veggies=3 pints of pickles.  But I had lots and lots of cucumbers left–I think I only used 1 1/2 to two pounds and ultimately ended up with 4 jars.  At any rate, the spears didn’t fit well, and then when I poured a vinegar, salt and water solution over them, they still poked out the top.  I’m not sure what impact this will have on the shelf life of the pickles.  But I pressed on and processed them–I think a minute or two too long–and so I might have also doomed my pickles to squishiness.  Plus, the rim of one jar was not tight enough, and it actually *lost* brine in the processing.  What gives?

Oh well.  I did have enough pickles and spices to assemble a jar of fridge pickles.  The whole project cost about $2.50 and a few–maybe 4?–little garden pickles.  And maybe if I toss the processed jars in the fridge, they will turn out ok.


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