It’s that time of year. We are all harvesting and cleaning out our gardens. So, what do you do with all that produce?
This guest article advocates for making Pickles!
Why We All Should Pickle at Home by Jonathan Heusman
One of the great things about pickles is that anyone, and I DO mean anyone, can make their pickles easily right at home. There is no special skill and just a bit of pickling knowledge that you will need. You will also need just a few simple to get, cheap items that you can find at most of your local shopping outlets.
Not only is making pickles fun, but you will save money as well, and impress your friends and neighbors. There really is no good reason not to learn to make your own pickles right at home. So let’s take a look at some of the items that you will need to get started.
First off, you will need some pickling jars, with the lids and rings. These can be found in a number of places, including various online stores. You will also need a water bath canner; this is basically just a large pot which you will need to seal your pickling jars. I also highly recommend purchasing a pair of tongs; it will help you to avoid getting burned.
This is really all of the equipment that you need to get started. So now we need to decide what we want to pickle. Wait, pickles are just made from cucumbers right? Right, but you can pickle a whole lot of other things, including fruits, other veggies, and sometimes even meats; pickling cucumbers is just the beginning.
However, there are also many tasty variations of your classic dill cucumber pickles, my personal favorites being spicy garlic pickles. There are many other items that can make your pickling go much smoother, however, they are purely optional. They may just be able to make your life a little bit easier.
So now you have all of the items that you need to pickle, what’s next? Well for your first batch, I would highly recommend pickling cucumbers, they are considered the easiest items to pickle, and quite frankly they are the hardest to mess up.
Your main ingredients will consist of vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seed, and the rest is up to you, and your recipe. You are free to add items such as sliced onions, garlic cloves, bunches of dill, etc. Whatever flavor you want your pickles to have, you can give with just the right ingredients.
Once you have completed your pickles and sealed them in your pickling jars, all that is left to do is wait. It normally takes from 4 to 6 weeks for the cucumbers to pickle, but it does not hurt to wait a little longer rather than shorter, just to be safe. After you have waited for the cucumbers to pickle, open up a jar, and enjoy your creation!
But do not stop there; share your pickles with your friends, family, or even the people you work with. You will be amazed at how people react to homemade pickles. It is as if you performed some act of magic. But they don’t have to know how easy it was, so enjoy the compliments and especially enjoy the pickles.
Once you have pickled cucumbers once or twice, you may want to try pickling something else, such as asparagus, or watermelon rind. Yes, you can pickle watermelon rind, and yes they are very tasty. The sky becomes the limit with what you can pickle, and all of the different ways that you can pickle it.
Spicy carrot pickles, crunchy cucumber pickles, garlicky pickled eggs, the choice is yours. I hope you decide to try your hands at pickling, and see just how fun and tasty it can be. If you are not sure where to start, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide to Pickling for step by step instructions and over 30 recipes for you to try.
Article Source: Organic Gardening Articles
Jonathan Heusman grew up with a family of picklers, and enjoys enabling others learn how great pickling is. You can check out his comprehensive pickling guide at The Ultimate Guide to Pickling