Pickles – The First in a Long Time

I’ve had a few quart jars empty out over the last few months. I set them aside thinking that I would can some tomatoes. However, I cannot bring myself to can tomatoes. I just eat them. Cut up in salads. Sliced on burgers.  With chips in fresh salsa. Sliced plain for a good old tomato sandwich – sometimes with fresh basil. Or just sliced with a little salt – or none at all. I love tomatoes. I’m sure I would love homemade, canned tomato sauce if I could ever get that far.

Pickles meet Instagram

At last week’s farmer’s market, I picked up a quart or so of cucumbers and another of okra. The market is sponsored by Ball, and there were packets of their Kosher Dill Pickling mix up for grabs.

Because it’s been about 10 years  since I pickled anything, I decided to go for simplicity and use the recipe on the packet. I thought I had enough cucumbers for 1 quart jar and enough okra for one quart jar. I guess I need to brush up on my packing technique. Another important note is to check to make sure you have enough vinegar for emergency brine mix in case what you made from the recipe doesn’t actually cover your veggies. Kind of goes hand in hand with the packing bit, so I thought I would mention it here.

Because I was already running afoul the recipe by using okra & not having enough white vinegar for the 2nd batch of emergency brine (used what was left mixed with apple cider vinegar instead), I decided to try adding in a cherry-soaked chipotle pepper from the smoky cherry preserves I made a few weeks ago. I was hoping that this would add a hint of smoky spice to the pickles more than anything.

Also – due to previously discussed packing technique, I ended up with a third quart jar mixed with okra and cukes. This is where the chipotle landed. …from following a recipe to odd experiment in the span of an hour…


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