Cucumbers and Squash, Oh My! With all the Cucumbers and Crook-Neck Squash that Bob Clem gave us last week, and the new Cucumbers growing big quickly on the three thinned out cucumber plants that Bob gave me, I’m in a Pickle!
My latest best and only plan is to peel, slice and such them all up and make some refrigerator dill pickles and dill squash with a Mrs. Wages Quick Dill Pickles mix that I bought. Why? Because that was the one mix that Kroger had left in a very picked-over section.
Refrigerator? Because I really don’t want to get into buying canning jars & lids, hot bath processing equipment, on and on, much less buying all that plus a pressure canner. And nobody ever figured out how to make Freezer Pickles! Used Peanut Butter jars with plastic lids and a refrigerator I already have on hand.
Today is Father’s Day and also Pat’s Birthday. And I’m in a pickle!
First up… Happy Fathers Day….
Second, nothing wrong with refrigerator pickles. I use Alton Brown’s recipe from the Food Network. Long-term unless you have another refrigerator, you might run out of room. If you are not hot bathing, I don’t see why you couldn’t use Peanut butter jars, as long as the hot brine is not too hot.
P.S. After making pickles for awhile, I also started making relish.
I bought a full pressure-canning setup with tools and jars of several sizes today, but I ended up returning it all due to a missing pressure regulator. It’s a long sad story that I do not need to explain here. I’m sadder but wiser! If in doubt how to utilize things, I’ll either give or throw them away. I could have bought a Lot of canned goods for what I paid for the pressure canner, jars, etc.!
@JimMarconnet sorry to hear things are going poorly. I started canning a few years back while I was unemployed simply to save the money. I was confused at first, and thought it was a lot of work when I could buys things for as little as $2.00 a jar, etc.
However, the more I canned the easier it became. Also I have learned with high vinegar items like pickles / sliced jalapenos / relishes it can be really simply and you can avoid the hot bath all together.
Long story short After Hot Bathing for over a year, I meet someone in their 70’s and she told me a few tips. She stated, back in the day all they did was put the jars in a 200f degree oven for 10 minutes to sterilize, fill the jars, and then pour the hot brine on top. Next fit the jars with warm tops, hand tighten the lids and leave alone for a few hours and the jars would seal on their own. Sure enough, I tried my next batch this way and it worked great. I don’t hot bath items with high vinegar content anymore.
My only investment was two dozen pint jars a few years back and now a new set of lids every season for less than $3. In exchange, I get more jalapenos, pickles, and relishes then I know what to do with.
If you like pickled Jalapenos, I am happy to share my recipe with you.
Thanks Cherokee_Motley! Given your description and the low temperatures you cite, I may well dig thru my assortment in the garage of used plastic containers for the used plastic peanut butter jars with plastic screw-on lids and try your technique with them. I’ll run them back thru the dishwasher for the clean and sterilize part after being in the garage how knows long. If after filling them and screwing on the lids, I I keep them in the refrigerator for extra insurance, that ought not hurt either. My investment, nada!
Just my two cents, but I don’t use any of the “old-school” canning methods. If I’m going to invest my time & money in canning I want to make sure that the food is safe and that I’ve done everything I can to prevent spoilage. There are a number of people (my family included) who used to just put hot jam/pickles into hot jars and leave on the counter to seal. Most survived, but people also used to get sick & die back in the day for no apparent reason: they don’t have descendants left to tell the tale. It’s also important to remember that they also probably had much cooler cellars to stash their jars in over the winter (compared to modern heated houses). Food in Jars has a number of good canning 101 articles including “Why You Shouldn’t Can Like Your Grandmother Did”.
If you can’t find the equipment to water bath can your high acid foods (you don’t need a pressure canner for pickles, jams, and tomatoes (with added citric acid or lemon juice)) then stick with refrigerator pickles & freezer jam: they are very tasty, but you may run out of fridge/freezer space. I myself only reuse # 2, 4, and 5 plastics, though I prefer to use glass for food storage. You can also start small, and probably use a stock pot you already own with canning rings as a rack, rather than purchasing a preserving kettle.