Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Pickles! (and a brief Jasper update)
I made pickles!
I made 8 pints of garlic dill pickles. Here is the recipe I followed:
About 6 lbs of cucumbers cut up
4 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
4 tbs pickling salt (plain salt without iodine or preservative/anti-caking agents)
8 tsp dried dill
8 big cloves of garlic, roughly chopped.
1. Combine vinegar, water and salt in a pot, bring to a boil.
2. Put equal parts of dill and garlic in each jar. Pack in sliced cucumbers.
3. Pour boiling vinegar solution over cucumbers in each jar, leaving 1/2" room of headspace. (You will probably have a little liquid left over)
4. Process in a boiling water canner for 10-12 minutes.
I opened a jar that night for my husband and I to try and they tasted like Aunt Bee's Kerosene Cucumbers, I was pretty disappointed, but put them back into the fridge. The next night I gave them another try and they were much better. I guess they need to rest for 48 hours or so before they taste like pickles and not vinegar bombs.
From these dill pickles I decided to make fire and ice pickles. Apparently to make those, most people just buy store pickles and go from there, but since I had 8 pints, I wanted to use my own. I found some recipes online, most of which used a bunch of tabasco, but not much actual hot pepper, and I thought it tasted a little too sweet-- like pepper jelly with pickles. After experimenting and adjusting here is the recipe I ended up with:
1 pint dill pickles
1 cup sugar
1 tsp dried red peppers
a splash of tabasco
Drain the dill pickles, and put them in a bowl. Add the 1 cup sugar (I use a tiny bit less than a cup) peppers and tabasco, and stir it up. Let this mixture sit on the counter for 2 hours and the sugar clumps will have magically turned to liquid. Put your pickles (and the liquid) back into their original jar and refrigerate.
Note: If you leave the pickles on the counter for much longer than the 2 hours, they will shrivel up, they will still taste good, they just look like old wrinkly pickle prunes.
Just before bed a few nights ago
Also Jasper the dove is still doing well. We had a trip to my parents house planned for a long time, and since Jasper needs to be fed every 2-3 hours, he got to go on a vacation with us (along with the 2 hour each way car ride). He peeped a lot at first, but then went to sleep in his cage in the back of the car. Here's a little picture of him. I have learned some things that make feeding him much easier, I will post all about adventures with rearing Jasper on a later date.
Jasper this morning just before eating