This weekend I tackled #44 and #45 of the Life List: can vegetables and make pickles. OK...maybe I cheated on the vegetables part, but I had to learn the canning process in order to actually make the pickles. So there.
It was really a very simple process. Actually the hardest part is not eating the cucumbers straight out of the brine. I think we lost a whole jar there. First I cleaned the jars.
Then I sliced cucumbers and snapped green beans. I placed them all in a big bowl along with some left over okra, water and Kosher salt. I left this in a cool place over night with a plate on top to keep everything submerged.
The next day I boiled the jars and lids to sterilize them. Then I rinsed the veggies and began to fill the jars. While I filled the jars, I boiled equal parts vinegar and water. Then I sprinkled some pickling spice into each jar. Some jars I added a clove or two of garlic or a sprig of dill or a chili.
Next, I poured in the water/vinegar mix, put the lids on and set them in the pan to boil. Once they started a gentle boil, I set a timer for 15 minutes. Now all I have to do wait for them to do is cool overnight and then tighten the lids.