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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Making Pickles (with recipe) and having visitors!!!

I had my first two visitors to the mini farm today.  My friend Christina and her mom Bobbi came to visit the chickens and get a tour of the garden!  They were impressed by how little space the garden was and how much produce I've gotten so far!!!

We had a slight fiasco with the chicks.  They both wanted to hold them and when Christina was trying to grab one, one of the birds squeezed through the brooder/dog crate wall - and was LOOSE!!!!!  Then, when worried that it's wing would get stuck, I tried to get it to put it back in safely, it squeezed right back through!!  Looks like Jeff is going to have to put higher walls until they're too big to squeeze through!

I also cooked Bread-and-Butter pickle chips this morning while it was cooler.  They can keep in the fridge for a few weeks, so I'll can them when it gets cooler around here.

Bread-and-Butter Pickle Recipe
from: Put 'em Up! by Sherri Brooks Vinton
5 pounds cucumbers, ends removed and sliced into 1/4 in coins (I used my Pampered Chef mandolin with the zig-zag blade)
1 pound large onions, roughly chopped
1/2 cup plus 1 TBS kosher salt
2 cups ice cubes
4 cups distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 TBS mustard seed
1 TBS black peppercorns
1 TBS celery seed
1 TBS tumeric

1.  Layer the cucumbers and onions with 1/2 cup of salt in a large bowl.  Cover with ice cubes.  Set aside for 2 hours.  Drain and rinse in colander.
2.  Combine the remaining ingredients in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the drained vegetables and return to a boil, stirring to ensure that all of the vegetables are heated through.  Remove from heat. 
**Cucumbers will turn from a bright, Kelly green, to a brownish, olive green.**
Refrigerate: Ladle into bowls or jars.  Cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Can: Follow normal canning procedures, processing for 10 minutes.  Can be stored for up to 1 year.

**Once I begin canning items, I will post canning instructions.**

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