Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dilly Garlic Beans

Pickles were never a favorite when I was younger. Too bitter, too tart. My maternal grandmother made outrageously good pickled beets though, and I still love sweet/sour over just sweet or just sour.

These days I enjoy eating pickles almost as much as I love making them. They are by far the easiest, most tweakable thing to put up. While you can't really change the acid and/or sugar balance too far and still keep them safe, you can add all sorts of vegetables and spices. 

Dilly Beans "before"
These Dilly Beans were totally inspired by the recipe by Marisa McClellan at Food in Jars. Even so, I looked for every green bean dill pickle recipe I could find, and made a big spreadsheet comparing all the ingredients to find the common themes. What can be changed, what is mandatory. It's my first try at Dilly Beans, and the scientist in me can't help herself (hey, it's a new kitchen protocol! You geeks out there, and you know who you are, know exactly what I'm sayin' - am I right?!). 

Deciding on the common-theme green bean dill pickle recipe (1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon kosher salt; process pints for 10 minutes), I added a garlic clove, couple tiny dried red chillies, and a few black peppercorns to each jar. The hard part now is waiting a couple weeks before trying them. The Bloody Marys will have to wait.

Dilly Beans "after"

Monday, July 28, 2014

There were no cucumbers

Well, no bushels of cucumbers at pickle-making prices. So we came home with this lot instead:

We spoke with the farmers, and our Wisconsin summer has been too cold. Tomatoes and cucumbers will be another couple weeks. Beans and beets, however, look grand.

Looking at that haul, I can't help but see pickles. Maybe I should have that looked at.