Saturday, August 2, 2008

day trip to o'keefe country, trip to the market, and a lesson in home-canning

At the farmer's market we got a bunch of cucumbers for four dollars and some of Tom's good good garlic. Also got some fresh dill. We really wanted to prepare to preserve before it's too late. Seeing as we already have watermelons, tomatillos, peppers, now the cucumbers are growing little cukes too. Corn has it's female flowers also now!!!

(pictures to come soon) silk
We began the canning extravaganza with submerging the fresh picked cukes in a sink of cold water. (next-time we'll do ice-water, supposed to make the pickles crisper) cleaned off the dirt, then cut off the ends, and any other funky areas, sliced. The garlic got peeled and crushed to release the full flavor of Tom's awesome chicken-poop-fertilized garlic, Thanks Tom! The dill got cut up in sections; and at first I thought the hollow stems would just be tomorrow's compost, I realized that each piece has it's own distinct smell/flavor, so, in went the stems. We boiled twelve cups of water with four cups vinegar and i think two cups of the extra-fine pickling salt. That mixture(the brine), once boiling, gets poured over the cucumbers, dill and garlic. Dill and garlic on top and bottom. I think we did two sliced discs and the rest were spears or quarters. Like vlassics. All the jars got boiled ahead of time for ten to fifteen min. and the lids got boiled right before being sealed. After everything is sanitized and all ingredients are in the sealed jar, the jars get boiled for fifteen to twenty min. Then, while cooling, the cooling of everything sucks the seal secure. Pretty cool stuff.

Nice basket aunt Marge bought me, filled with market fresh, local produce
canning jars, fresh dill, the jar-picker-upper, and salt
apple cider vinegar and our new pot
becke with dill

dill flower

O'keefe's mountain with lake abiquiu in the foreground

the operating table
pots on the stove

putting on the lids
cukes put into jars with dill and garlic

boiling water, quickly and as efficiently as possible on an old electric range, years of experience have taught us to make good use

pint jars boiling
putting one in
boiling water
quarts in the tank
sealing the deal, now they just gotta sit for eight weeks. Patience is a virtue. End product was
seven pints and four quarts. as they sat on the counter cooling, one by one they would pop. The lids were sealing in on themselves, i thought we would have at least one that didn't but sure as day...

1 comment:

  1. Great explanation of your canning soon-to-be expertise. Brings back old memories of when Becke was very little & our neighbor, Nancy, and I canned lots of stuff--peaches, pickles, beans, beets, cherries, and lots of different jellies and jams.
    Everything tastes so much better when you can your own.
    Loved reading about your escapades.