Saturday, August 15, 2009

All in a day's work...

Yesterday I decided that I was going to do some canning today. I've realized that it's not the actual canning that trips me up. It's the prep. It's a TON of PREP. Washing jars and lids...
Letting them air dry...
Making sure you have all the tools and supplies you're going to need...
And then once that's all set up...it's time to prep the veggies. I found these reusable bags last year at the Dollar Tree. They were four in a pack! Aren't they great? I feel very responsible when I use them.

They're full of okra and pickling cucumbers.
Freshly washed green beans...soon they will be delicious dilly beans.
Thank you to my friend Carolyn for turning me on to these last summer. My life will never be the same.
Sweet little pickling cucumbers.
I tried to get them all about the same size...
Oh okra, okra, okra. I don't care for okra. Not even pickled.
So, why do I have a big strainer FULL of them? Because my sister in law loves pickled okra and her birthday is tomorrow. I think she's gonna love her gift!
Here they are just waiting for the boiling water and vinegar mixture. Fresh one minute. Pickled the next.
If nothing else, it's pretty to look at. I've never pickled okra before...so I hope it turns out OK!

Luckily I cleaned an extra jar...I was able to get 8 jars of pickles instead of just 7. I hope they taste good.

Last year's pickles were a disappointment. They were too vinegar-y. The recipe I followed didn't call for enough dill seed...in my opinion. So they weren't dilly enough for me. Chris liked them. And so did my sister in law. But I just never could come around to liking them. In my opinion, they were always just a bit off. So this year I added extra dill seed AND a little sprinkle of pickling spice. I have no idea what I'm doing...so I hope it works out!

And finally...after a very hot kitchen, a very hot ME and a big mess...the finished product: dill pickles, dilly beans and pickled okra. Ta-da!
Now...just give me two weeks or so and I'll let you know how they all turned out. Except the okra...we'll have to get that report from my sister in law!

7 comments:

Elaine said...

Wow! I'm totally impressed! Those all look great!

underthebigbluesky said...

i was just looking at these over on Flickr and I'm so impressed!

it's the prep that's keeping me from too much canning this summer. maybe next....

hope your pickles turn out...they look yummy!

WhiteStone said...

I washed many a jar when I was a kid...my hands were smaller than my mother's and I could wash inside the jars easier, especially some that were more narrow than those we use today. However...now I rely on my dishwasher to do the dirty work. If I time it right, they are still hot when its time to pack them with hot food.

ThyHandHathProvided said...

Your jars look beautiful! Here is a confession...I don't wash my jars. Gasp! It's true. After we empty one, I wash it, of course, and then put in on my clean pantry shelves upside down. When I'm ready to can next, I know they are clean and either let them sit a bit in my canner as it's heating up or just fill them without that step- depending on how much time I have. This cuts down on prep time if it doesn't freak you out:-).

Beegirl said...

Loved your photos over on Flickr and this post is fantastic! Have to admit, I used a pickle mix pack for mine.

I wash my jars then place them on a cookie sheet with a silicon cookie mat on it (keeps them from sliding on the tray) then pop them into a 200 degree oven. The jars dry while I doing veggie prep and are piping hot for canning. Our farmer friend uses the dishwasher method. Top rack only. She has an old one in her summer kitchen.

I'd kill for a summer kitchen... BTW those pantry cupboards in your pictures are to die for!!

Nancy said...

Wow! You were productive. Hope you propped your feet up to relax when all that was done. And the okra for your SIL? I'd say you're about the sweetest SIL ever.

T said...

I am inspired