Making Dill Pickles

In earlier posts, I have shared my son’s and my canning escapades and today we’re gonna talk about the most recent one – making dill pickles.  This time, Amanda was able to be there and join in on the fun and we had a great time.

We had decided that we were gonna find a fresh produce market close to us and see what kinds of veggies we could get for canning and freezing.  So, on Saturday, we decided to go to the Monroe Fresh Market which wasn’t very far from my house. They got to my house about 10 am and Joel brought most of his canning paraphernalia so we could do two processes at a time.

We drove through Waxhaw to get to the fresh market and I tell ya, Waxhaw is a quaint little town.  You could tell it was an older town by all the buildings and a train track runs through it.  As a matter of fact, a train was passing through at the same time we were.  Anyway, we got to the market and I was a little disappointed that there were so few vendors and not much produce from which to pick good veggies.  A couple of the vendors had tomatoes and we bought a few of those.  But, we did find a lady who had cucumbers so Joel bought almost all she had.  I also found some crowder peas which I was gonna freeze.  Oh, and we found some okra too.

Since we were so close to Monroe, we decided we really needed to eat at Napoli’s, one of the pizza places in the world.  After lunch, we stopped at a couple more stands in Indian Trail and headed back to my house.

First, we had to plan just how we were gonna start making the pickles.  We had some cucumbers that could be stuffed into the quart jars whole or sliced in half and some that had to be cut into thick slices which would be put into pint jars.  We started working on the whole pickles first – got the jars in the hot water, washed all the cucumbers, got the brine cooking and got our assembly line all ready.  So, Joel got the jars out of the hot water, Amanda put the dill, garlic, peppers and pickle crisp in them and I stuffed the cucumbers inside the jars.  Once we got them inside the jars, Joel poured the hot brine into the jars, put the lids on them and put them back into the hot water to process.  Boy, did my house smell good.  We got seven quarts of whole pickles.

Once those were done, we started on the pint jars.  We pretty much did the same as with the whole cucumbers, but this time, we sliced them into thick slices.  And, again, we had our assembly line all set up.  It worked very well too.  We got one batch done and started on another and this time, we did some okra as well. In all, we got 3 jars of pickled okra and 11 pint jars of pickles.  We started about 2:30 pm and finished about 6 pm so it didn’t take long at all.

By 6 pm, we were all hungry again so we went to 521 Barbecue in Indianland; and folks, this is some good barbecue.  Naturally, I don’t like it as well as I do Sugar’s in Chattanooga, but it comes in a close second.

We were all pretty much worn out, but it was a great day and we accomplished what we had set out to do.  And, the best part of all was spending the day with Joel and Amanda.

Oh, and we’re planning to find tomatoes to can.  Stay tuned for that adventure.

See ya next Wednesday.