I was so excited when I went to my local farmer’s market to find little cucumbers really cheap! Why? Well, it is November but luckily for me and others like me, we have had a warmer than normal fall. That means we will benefit from another fresh vegetable bonanza. I grabbed 10 large containers and knew exactly what I was going to do with those miniature morsels of deliciousness….PICKLES!!!! If you have never had a homemade pickle, trust me, you are missing out. The crispy crunch is like no other store bought pickle plus you get the satisfaction of turning a good vegetable into a tasty vegetable.
Even though I bought my cucumbers, I have grown them in my garden for years. Cucumbers are one of the easiest plants to grow. They just need plenty of water, sunshine, good soil, and a trellis to grow on. I bought this one from Amazon and I love it. Not only is it great for cucumbers it is ideal for growing green beans or any type of squash.
Making pickles is really easy….really, really easy. The biggest expense you will have is the canning supplies. The best part about canning is that there is an initial expense but most items can be reused. The only supply that needs to be purchased again is the canning lids.
So how do you make pickles? Simply cut up your cucumbers (or not if you want whole pickles), add 1 1/2 qts of vinegar, 1/2 cup salt, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. After this is boiled up add your cucumbers to the jar and then add the mixture. You can also add jalapenos, chili flakes, dill, or whatever you like for additional flavors. Experiment, it should be fun! After this you will want to boil the jars in the canner. Either follow the instructions on the canner or for 10 minutes. The longer you let them boil, the more soggy they will be generally. Finally, you want to bring them out of the water and let them cool. Once they are cool, check the jars to make sure the lid is sealed. If the lid isn’t sealed, you won’t unlock the level of flavor you need and the worst part is your vegetables will spoil. Actually the worst part is waiting the minimum 24 hours for the flavors to be absorbed into the pickles. But if you want them to be really good you need to wait 2 weeks.
Canning is a great way to save money on vegetables, fruits, or whatever else you decide to preserve. Also, since you’re the one growing and putting all the ingredients into the jars, you know exactly what you are putting into your body and aren’t getting any unwanted preservatives or sugar that these companies often put into their food.