Last night, I set out to pickle. I got all the equipment set-up. I had bought brand new glass jars, which is getting hard to find at this time of the season. I organized my work space so that everything went smoothly. My husband and inlaws took our baby for a walk to the park. So it was really the perfect moment to make dill pickles. I sliced the cukes up and that's when the idea of a wonderful evening of pickling went to hell-in-a-hand basket!
It turns out the new glass jars don't fit any of my canning pots. That was the first strike. My family returned sooner than expected, strike two. Dinner wasn't made, strike three. It was all domestic chaos. The pickles got thrown aside until things cooled down. It wasn't until ten o'clock at night, after the family was fed, the baby was bathed and put to sleep, that I finally could think about pickles! Yikes! Nothing beats a good foodie adventure. The jars were sterilized and ready to go. After boiling up the brine, super easy stuff, I was finally able to pour it over my packed pickles. The pickles I bought were short and so I placed a few short pieces on top. Martha Stweart would have rolled in her grave if she were there! She was probably rolling in her sleep with nightmares about my pickling technique! I repeat: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!
Okay, so brine in, cukes pickled. What was I going to do about the jars not fitting my canning pots? I found a silver stock pot in my kitchen that would allow the jars to fit by placing the jars directly on the bottom surface of the pot. This is a huge no-no! Glass jars could break and things could get much, much, much worse. But a girl has to do what a girl has to do. I was pickling even if it meant exploding jars of cukes! I seriously felt like a crazy old witch watching boiling water leap out of the pot. I kept wiping the water up and leaping back when large water bubbles broke the surface of the stock pot.
I could only do two jars at time in the stock pot. The processing time in the boiling water was 20 minutes. At 12:45AM, I had finally pulled the last two jars from stock pot. Oh my goodness! I did it. Nothing exploded. Everything looks beautiful and when I woke up from only 6.5 hours of sleep. I was giddy with excited to check my pickles. A couple of quick pokes at the lid to check the seal, and wham-bam-thank you ma'am, I did it! The pickles are golden!
My sister laughed and asked why pickles? Why not jam or fruit? I replied, why not! What tastes better with a sandwich than a juicy dill pickle! She laughed. I get to wait a couple of weeks before I truly figure out if things went well. The front two jars are using a recipe that I took from the awesome book, The Beginner's Guide to Preserving Food at Home by Janet Chadwick. The recipe I used was "Easy Dill Pickle."
Pickling is truly easy. It only gets hard when family chaos errupts and your equipment sucks. But even then, a girl can always get by with style. On that note, it wasn't that bad of a night. In the midst of all this craziness, my father inlaw was trying to help my husband find his lost keys. He stuck his hand into our club chair and pulled out my Tiffany & CO 1837 ring that I thought I lost six years ago! Yeah, baby! It was completely tarnished but a quick polish brought it back to its fine Tiffany standard! What a night! Pickles and Tiffany's. Could I ask for more?