Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Pickled!

Putting up my own dill pickles is not only something I enjoy, but also something I'm sufficiently good at that I've won blue ribbons at the Texas State Fair with them. Last year, the weather was so wet, there weren't any pickling cukes to be had, so we've had to endure a year of "store-bought." Granted, I've only bought Claussen, but when you're used to your own, it's just not the same.

So, despite the 6 inches of rain we had last week, I was very pleased to see an ad in the local paper for cucumbers at our favorite truck farm. I joyfully headed out this morning.

Alas, the rain has not done this garden any favors. Most of the cukes were of a size to fit individually in a quart jar. I did hunt around and find sufficient size for 5 quarts.

And then, lowering one of these precious quarts into a water bath, I heard the unmistakable sound of glass cracking. I quickly pulled it out, hoping to save the produce and repackage in a fresh jar. I was able to do so.

I think I know where my mistake was: the pot I was using to water bath isn't made for that purpose so the jar sat directly on the bottom of the pot. Usually I can get away with such neglect, but today it caught up with me. I hauled down the old pressure cooker (which I don't use to pressure cook any more) with its insert for jars and finished water bathing.

We like to have one quart of pickles for each week of the year. I'm doubtful of this happening which makes the five I have all the more precious.

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