Friday, August 23, 2013

Quality time with the grand kids

Breakfast with my little honey
The babies get a bath
Nevaeh making cupcakes for Jeff's Birthday 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Canning Dill Pickles with cucumbers from our garden

We have a lot of pickling cucumbers in our garden so I'll be canning a lot of pickles in the coming weeks. The dill is also from our garden.

To start, get your canning jars sterilizing and start your pickling brine.  I use 2 quarts of water, one quart white vinegar (5% acidity), 1/2 cup kosher salt and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar.  You may also omit the sugar entirely if you are diabetic or simply trying to avoid it. 

I like my pickles garlicky, so I add several cloves of garlic to each quart jar along with a bay leaf, a fresh dill head,   1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of pickle crisp, a sprinkle of hot pepper seeds, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, a few peppercorns, 1/4 teaspoon celery seed, and if I want a more "dilly" taste I add 1/4 teaspoon dried dill.  To add heat, include a fresh or dried jalapeno pepper to each jar.

I can both whole dill pickles and spears.  I sometimes do dill chips as well.
Once the cukes are in the jar with the spices and covered with the brine, process in a water bath canner for no more than ten minutes or they will get mushy.
Let the jars cool overnight.  I advise letting these sit at least 3-5 months before eating.  Generally, if you're canning from your garden they should be ready to eat by the holidays.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Canning Strawberry-Vanilla Jam

To make strawberry-vanilla jam, use your favorite recipe but add one large vanilla bean to the pan while you are cooking the mixture.  I do the same thing with my peach jam and the taste is phenomenal!!!