Tuesday, August 13, 2013


 A recent rainy day presented the perfect opportunity to finally do some pickling. I’m growing Boston Pickling cukes this year, just for this reason, and they have been producing pretty well. I’ve been stalling on this project for a while. Being my first official foray into canning of any sort, I admit I felt a tiny bit intimidated. The worst that could happen though, is I would lose a few pounds of cucumbers. So!

 I followed the garlic dill pickles recipe from Marisa McClellan’s site, Food In Jars. This is a quick pickle (she recommends letting them sit 2-4 days before eating), so you won’t have to wait for weeks to try them. The only modification I made was I added 1/2 tsp coriander seed to each jar. I also followed her guide for salt substitution, and used the sea salt I had on hand in place of pickling salt.

 These were pretty simple to put together, just as I was assured they would be. The hardest part was just waiting for the water to boil to sterilize my jars, and then again for the water bath.  I realized halfway through sterilization, that I shouldn’t be using the canning pot on a glass cook top (indicated on the pot, and in part, because the base of the pot is not flat), so we moved outside onto a propane camp stove for the water bath. The water bath process can be skipped if one wants to keep their pickles in the fridge, but I’d rather have the fridge space.

 I waited about 36 hours to pop open the first jar. And yes, this is a great pickle! Classic dill pickle flavor, with quite a kick of heat. If you like it spicy, I think Marisa hit it just right (I think my 1/4 teaspoons were overflowing a little). If spicy is not so much your thing, you may want to tone it down on the chili flakes. I noticed that as soon as I finished making these, I felt excited about sharing them. I especially can’t wait to give some to my pickle loving sister.

I can see how people get really into canning. It’s a fun process, and the results are so satisfying. I am already looking forward to more. Next up? Maybe some tomato jam.


  1. I just made a couple of gallons of fermented pickles and added A LOT of chili peppers (and garlic, black pepper and dill, of course.) I've made pickles using horseradish before, but never with chili peppers. I LOVE spicy foods - especially ferments!

    1. I don't think I'd ever had a spicy pickle before. It makes a great addition. I love a little spice too!

  2. Hi Abby! I'm Heather! I was hoping you could answer a question I have about your blog :-) My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail.com

  3. I've been using a bunch of Marisa's jam and pickling recipes this summer! Just made the pickles last week, glad to hear they're as good as they look :)