Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I can. Do you?

Yesterday, the house was filled with the biting sharpness of pickling brine and I went to bed with the smell of garlic and dill on my hands. I went to bed very happy with my day's efforts. Just look...

at how many quart jars I filled with 50lbs of dilled cucumbers.I didn't can anything last year due to our move and this time around I skipped this crazy sounding,but helpful step in my canning process. The cukes I bought this year had already been thoroughly cleaned, so they didn't need much more.

Canning is so rewarding and my family really appreciates it. The hardest part is patiently waiting for the cucumbers to become pickled. Every year I have to remind my sons that we need to leave those jars sealed for a good 6 weeks before they can start enjoying them.

Everytime I can produce, I love to just savour the look of all those jars filled with the season's bounty. I like knowing that I've contributed some handmade goodness to our pantry that we anticipate enjoying through the coming months. That's why I can. Do you?


  1. I just finished, well some is still processing, a double batch of salsa!! One mild and one hot batch. My friend and I have been making it together for 4 years and we are getting quicker!

  2. I freeze, because canning scares me a little. But we've been storing away for the winter around here too. Yesterday we froze 20bags of corn and today I'm working on tomato basil soup for the freezer. I love the feeling of knowing it's all packed away for the winter - must be a prairie girl hidden away in me somewhere! :)

  3. Lovely new blog-header Katherine!

    Oh my, this reminds me of the days we brew our own beer and made our own wine! We used big glass bottles and wet lutes (I’m not familiar with the right jargon...LOL).

    We had so much fun to get the precious moisture into bottles! We had to wait 6 months before we could drink the stuff (if I remember well... and after 1 glass i was really tipsy!

    I also made tomato chutney and strawberry jam. Those were the days!

  4. Oh they look wonderful already. And I love the smell of garlic on my fingers.

    I'm not much of a pickler or jammer or canner.... but I have lots of happy memories of when my mom would fill the pantry with all her canning efforts. Loved the fragrance in the kitchen when pots would be steaming and bubbling and brewing.

  5. My mouth is watering and I haven't seen or heard of people bottling picked cucumbers in Australia..We do onions and other things. You're right, the full bottles alone look awesome.

  6. Well you know I do. ;-)

    Your cukes look amazing. I decided not to do dills this year (still a few left from the crazy number of jars I did last year and moving again next year so trying to keep the canning down) and my boys are disappointed. I ended up throwing together some refrigerator cukes on the weekend though and they are surprisingly yummy. Still...I know we'll miss the dills when we run out. Glad to see you've got a nice big batch. Should last you the year if you meter them out to your boys, heh? ;-)

    Here's something I know you'll get a kick out of. For years my mom has been pretty strict with the amount of her canned peaches she lets my dad have for dessert when they open a jar (maybe 2 halves or so). He always thought that was a bit of a swiz. Yesterday he helped her can this year's supply for the first time ever (he skinned and pitted) and he says to her, "You can only have two halves each night!!". Gotta love that.

  7. I used to and I will again.... one day. When I lived in Ireland, with my own organic produce, wild berries and swaps with friends from their gardens, my pantry gave me endless satisfaction - jars of pickles and jams and a freezer full of vegetables, herbs and home-made bread and pasta. There really is nothing like it. ANd my lifestyle is sadly nothing like that anymore. One day...

  8. Hello Katherine! A very good worK! Congratulations!
    Lovely blog!I like so much to come here. Bye.

  9. They look wonderful! And propably taste wonderful too.

    We don't have space for cans so I only put berries and such to the freezer.

  10. They look good, Katherine! Yes, you can!

  11. I've been dying to start canning, but haven't yet. I don't have the pot or supplies - it's on my Christmas list for this year. Though I do have a canning "cookbook" already. And I make freezer jam. I froze corn, strawberries and blueberries this summer too. Maybe next year there will be jars and jars and jars of bounty....

  12. those pickles look delicious! i canned about 6 pints of salsa this year so far. some applesauce will probably be coming next. i don't can a lot, but i do like to do some. it's so rewarding, but an awful lot of work.


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