But here goes. The first step is assembling everything you need to do a proper job of canning. You will need jars, lids and rings, a ladle, and a set of tongs. One of the handiest things is a little magnet on a plastic handle for taking the lids out of the hot water. The Bag Lady has canned without one, but it is far easier to use one than it is to fish the lids out with a fork, scalding your fingers!
You will also need a canner. They are sold in hardware stores and come complete with a rack for lifting the jars in and out of the water. You can get by without one - basically all it is is a big pot with a lid - it has to be large enough to hold your jars with at least an inch of water covering them. Set a rack in the bottom of the pot so that your jars are not sitting right on the bottom - the boiling water has to surround the jars.
Next step is to assemble the ingredients you will use for your brine. You will need:
3 Cups of water
1 Cup of Pickling Vinegar (7%)
1/4 Cup of Pickling Salt (do not use regular table salt)
And, of course, your carrots, dill, garlic and onion (if you are using it - the Bag Lady didn't use onion in this batch, but always uses garlic!)
Cut your carrots so they are at least half an inch shorter than the jar - you need to leave a little headspace.
Put your clean jars in the boiling water canner and bring it to a boil. In another pot, mix the water, vinegar and salt and bring it to a boil.
Place the lids in hot water to soften the sealing compound.
Put your carrots, dill and garlic in the jar, then pour in enough brine to cover them, leaving about a quarter of an inch headspace.
Wipe the rim of the jar to make sure it's clean.
Using your handy-dandy little magnet-on-a-stick (the Bag Lady wishes she had been the clever person who invented this - she'd be rich!), lift a lid out of the hot (not boiling) water and....
...center it on the jar.
Screw the ring onto the jar, making sure it is finger tight.
Place the jar in the canner. Repeat for all the jars (or until you run out of brine and curse yourself for not doubling the recipe... which has never happened to the Bag Lady, nosirree!)
When all the jars are full, set the rack down into the canner so the jars are completely covered with water, put the lid on and bring to a boil. Boil the jars for 15 minutes (for pints) or 20 minutes (for quarts).
Remove the jars from the canner and let sit, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Try not to jump out of your skin when the lids snap - that means they have sealed
Label the jars with the date and store in a cool, dark place. Your carrots will be pickled in about 6 weeks or so.
And then it will be on to the peas.....
And just so you don't think it's all work around the ranch, here's one of the Bag Lady's flowers:
She sincerely hopes she hasn't forgotten anything in her little tutorial.... but if she has, she apologizes.
Have a good weekend!