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


berto xxx said...

I like this blog. for real!

berto xxx

AJK said...

Pickles, mmmmm! Jasper's feathers are filling in nicely! Good job feeding him! (at least they aren't middle of the night feedings every 2 hours like humans! hehe)

brenda said...

ahhh, Jasper is looking good and he is really growing up!