When I was little and Babi (Grandma) was still alive, we used to visit her at her house – the same house my Mom grew up in, in a small town in Manitoba.
She spoke very, very little English (approx 3 words), but I don’t remember it being that big a deal – even when she used to babysit us.
But when she still lived in that house – she had a garden, even better though was her raspberry patch. It was huge! I know when you are an adult looking back at your childhood memories everything seemed big – but she had a raspberry patch big enough to make raspberry juice even after us kids came in and stuffed our faces full.
I grew up with my parents having a garden, I grew up with home canned goods all the time.
But as I got older and my parents got busier, the canning of home grown things seems to stop. I can’t remember exactly when, but I know I was not even in junior high when it stopped.
But there must be something in my blood. For whatever reason I love canning.
When I was 17, I flew to Quebec to visit my Aunt and Uncle, they were living on a farm that helped special needs adults transition into living on their own. That is where I made my first batch of jam, and my second and my third.
Since then I have made many more batches of jam – usually one a season, sometimes two. And every year I can at least one more thing too.
This year I decided to make pickles. I have never made pickles before, so searching the Internet I went looking for tips, tricks and recipes.
Since I had no idea how these would taste, I decided to wait and post the recipe after I had tried them.
We opened a jar this past weekend (3 weeks after initial canning) and they are great!
I am proud to say that I can make pickles!!
Jenny's Pickles (adapted from here)
12 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup pickling salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar (next time I would cut this down to 1 cup)
pickling cucumbers, cleaned
In each jar start with some fresh dill and garlic (I did 3 cloves in each), then add your cucumbers. Make sure to pack them really tight, they will shrink a lot in the pickling process.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Pour boiling water into the stuffed jars covering all the cucumbers. Let sit for 10 minutes. (This apparently helps with getting a crisp pickle, I did this and it seems to work - my pickles are nice and crisp.) Meanwhile, in another large pot, bring the water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil. Cook until dissolved.
Pour out the hot water from each jar, add in 1 tsp each pickling spice, more dill and more garlic (whatever you can stuff in).
Then pour in brine to the top of each jar, covering all the cucumbers.
Top with seals and lids, and process in a water bath for 10 minutes to seal the lids.
Once done, store for 3 or more weeks before consuming.
(We opened one jar at 3 weeks and it was good - but I am assuming they will be even better in a few more weeks.)