Friday, July 6, 2012

Homemade Pickles - not quite sure I did this right

So, here's the truth of the matter...I'm a terrible cook.  Occasionally I've made a few decent meals, but usually they suck.  I've officially sworn off of ever trying to cook pork again.  I've tried pork chops, pork loin...not matter what I try with pork (and how much I swear I'm following the directions) I over cook it.  Basically, Mr. J.G. is in charge of cooking pork from now on!

I'm not sure why I thought I could pull this off..but I tried...homemade pickles. 

Well my garden has been doing pretty well so far, so we had a ton of extra cucumbers here!  So I got some of those together...

Then I found a recipe online that required the following materials:

1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon of salt
2 cups of white sugar
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup sliced green pepper
6 cups of sliced cucumbers

These are refrigerator pickles so there was no requirement to actually can them, rather the jars just needed to be sterile.

So first I sliced up my cucumbers

Then I started sterilizing my jars.  I put them in a big pot with water up an inch higher than the jars.  Then I put the burner on high and got the water boiling and kept them in there with the water boiling for 10 minutes.  I also boiled the sealing part of the lid for 10 minutes as well in a separate pot.

In the meantime, I used a medium saucepan to heat up my vinegar, sugar, and salt.  That was supposed to boil for 10 minutes until the sugar resolved.  It smelled awful...very pungent and poor Petey kept sneezing.  I think I may have screwed this part up and didn't get all my sugar dissolved..more on that to come.

I also cut my onions and peppers up and put them with my cucumbers.

Can I just say...I have a vidalia onion chopper, like the kind in the infomercials...

And it's awesome.  I've had it forever so it's a little broken and missing a few pieces, but I love it so much that we've registered for a new one for our wedding (what can I say, a girl's gotta be able to chop up crap).

So I used my chopper to chop up the onions and green peppers into nice uniform little sizes.

Then once my vinegar had boiled for 10 minutes (I cheated and did less than 10 which I think was a big problem), I poured the mixture over the cucumbers, onions, and peppers.  See, I don't think all my sugar was dissolved because I had some liquid and then some gooey sugary mess at the bottom of my bowl.  Ooops.

The next step was to transfer them to my sterile containers.  I will say that I grabbed a set of cheap jar clamp things at Walmart and I was really glad I did...

Saved my fingers from burning and my jars from breaking.  I filled my jars with cucumbers and liquid and they've been in the fridge for about a week now...

The thing is, they don't really taste very pickley..just like cucumbers with an odd flavor.  Anyone have any thoughts?  The recipe I used had great reviews and everyone acted like it made the best refrigerator pickles ever.  Are they supposed to sit for a while longer or something?

Oh was a total disastor, so I'll consider it a success because I survivd my first near-canning experience!

1 comment:

  1. This makes me want to get back into canning. I used to do it when I was in high school but my kitchen now is so small I'm not sure I have room. I may have to try some jam or apple butter this fall!

    I think with canning it takes a few tries to get the kinks out. It is weird that your recipe didnt call for any pickeling spices.

    Best of luck in your future canning endeavors, Rae!