Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dilly of a Pickle Recession Cukes

I've wanted to incorporate video into Eats of Eden for months, and I've always planned to do it with canning.  Thanks to my sous chef/videographer husband and the inauguration of the season, it's now a reality!  See below for a little mini-pep talk on canning.

The recipe I use is out of the Ball Blue Book of Preserving.  If you are going to can anything, ever, then you have to have this on your bookshelf.  It covers all of the basic recipes you could think up - jams, jellies, chutneys, pickles, fruits and vegetables - alongside detailed and illustrated processing instructions, prep and safety tips, and other indispensable information.  

Remember that there are SO many ways to safely experiment and play in the kitchen with savory dishes and baking... but canning is NOT the place to go off-book.  Canning recipes are carefully tested for safety and balance, ensuring that foods will have enough acid and cooking time to become shelf-stable.  If you want to get your hands on some very creative canning recipes, you're now in luck - there are more modern, culinary-conscious cookbooks out there than ever before.  In other words, these ain't your grandma's preserves.  My favorite right now is the Williams-Sonoma Art of Preserving book.  It's available right now at Costco, and includes both canning/preserving recipes alongside recipes that use your new canned goods.

Always remember:
-to wash your equipment before use.  Run the jars, lids and rings through your hottest dishwasher setting, and keep them on a fresh, clean towel to fill.
-to keep rings and lids in simmering water on the stove until the moment you use them.
-to never reuse rings; seals are only fresh once.
-to test all of your goods' seals with the "click test".  If the lid bounces up and down to the touch, it hasn't sealed, and isn't shelf-stable.  If they don't seal, you can still keep them in your fridge for about a month to use.
-that you're not going to save any money canning, contrary to popular belief.  It's fun, not frugal. 
-to share!  Half the fun is impressing family, friends and random coworkers with your gorgeous handiwork.

Dilly of a Pickle Recession Dills

6 pounds of pickling cukes, washed and drained
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canning salt
1 quart white vinegar
1 quart water
3 tablespoons pickling spice
Dried red peppers
Peeled garlic cloves
Bay leaves
1 large bunch of dill

Combine sugar, salt, vinegar, pickling spice and water in a large saucepot.  Simmer 15 minutes.   Place 1 garlic clove, 1 bay leaf, 2 dried peppers, and 1 sprig of dill in each jar.  Pack with cucumbers.  Ladle cooking liquid into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process pints and quarts 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.


  1. I'm going to do my pickles next weekend and will try your recipe. They look great and you make it look so easy!

  2. Is Matt trying out for cameraman at channel 2 news? Did a great job on video and you did a great job on the pickles.

  3. I typed out a nice long comment and the internet ate it. :(

    Suffice to say, nice video! And, you sound so much like your mom! It made me smile. :)

  4. This is so awesome Tabitha! Good for you getting this going!