If you’ve been reading for a while you know that while I think the USDA is a fine organization, I also live to flaunt their rules when it comes to pickling. Now I’ve taken it upon myself to infect my friend Mia (hi Mia!) with this belief, for which I’m sure I will come to a horrible end.
That said, while the menfolk replaced windows in Mia’s family’s cabin yesterday, she and I filled 27 quart and 8 pint jars with dill pickles and dilly beans. The 20 pounds of organic pickling cukes I got at Snowgoose
and the random assortment of bush beans and pole beans from our garden
were combined with spices, home grown garlic and dill and lots and lots of vinegar to become future pickled delights.
The best part about our system (other than skipping the hot water bath in favor of crisper pickles) was our planning for beer breaks between packing jars and filling them with hot brine.
It was seriously the most fun I’ve ever had with vinegar. I’m quickly becoming a believer that our mothers and grandmothers and great grandmothers had the right way of it when they canned with other women. It’s a LOT more fun pickling outside with someone else than doing it alone in a hot kitchen.
Not to mention that I was able to clear 4 gallons of beans out of my fridge!