Friday, August 7, 2009

In a Pickle

Whew. The Bag Lady is exhausted. She's been working hard to create this pictorial/tutorial for you, and the most difficult part was getting the photos uploaded and set in proper order (because, naturally, when she uploaded them in what she thought was the right order, they all ended up in the wrong place....)

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.... 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 and could possibly be why they are called "snap lids"!

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!


solarity said...

Beautiful carrots! Too bad I don't like pickles. The pictures almost make me wish I had something to can, but since I have more work in the yard than I can possibly get done before fall, it's just as well.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Anonymous said...

I never thought of pickling carrots! They look delicious already (and I LOVE garlic)!

messymimi said...

Thank you!

I am going to be trying this soon.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, that's amazing! And what a great resource for those adventurous enough to pickle things! It looks far beyond my abilities, but I sure admire those who can do handy stuff like that.

Leah J. Utas said...

Oh those look good. I didn't realize jars had to be boiled after filling as well. I haven't made pickles in years (pickled zuke is my fave) and I recall not doing that. Thanks for the tutorial.

the Bag Lady said...

Mary Anne in Kentucky - don't like pickles!! *gasp* How can that be?! :)

kcinnova - they actually are surprisingly good!

Messymimi- oh, if you do, let me know how you do, 'kay?

Crabby - it's really quite simple (if I can do it, anyone can!)

dfLeah - Way back when, we didn't used to process pickles in a hot water bath, but nowadays 'they' recommend doing that for everything, even jams and jellies. I do it now just to be on the safe side - wouldn't want anyone getting sick from something I made!
(except for jams and jellies, I process everything.)

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

Cadbury wants to know why you're doing that to perfectly good carrots.

the Bag Lady said...

BG - tell Cadbury that if he comes to visit, there are plenty more left in the garden for him!

Levi said...

I would love to eat some of those pickled carrots. But I guess that probably goes along with the story of the Little Red Hen.


Sagan said...

Thanks for the tutorial! It's quite a process but sounds like fun. What does one do with pickled carrots? Just eat them straight from the jar like regular pickles?

Pretty flower.

the Bag Lady said...

POD - you'll have to come to the ranch and try some!

Sagan - yup, eat 'em just like any other pickle!

Sarah Anne said...

I've only done canning once before. It was so hot!

the Bag Lady said...

Georgie - it IS hot work, but it's so worth it!

The Fifth Sparrow said...

I love pickled carrots or asparagus. In a Bloody Caesar.

My oldest grandson eats them until he gets to the "bugs". (the dill). Then he puts them back in the jar.

It's best you not ask me how I found this out.

What are you doing with the peas?

the Bag Lady said...

Sparrow - I'm pretty sure I can figure out how you figured out that he puts them back in the jar! :)

The peas are going in the freezer in serving size bags - just enough for a meal. Easier that way.

Reb said...

Well done Sis.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, sis!

Aleta said...

I've never heard of pickled carrots before, but that looks so good! I'll have to share this with my sister-in-law. She just pickled some pickles. She might get a kick out of trying this!

the Bag Lady said...

Aleta - I hope she does try, and that you'll let me know how they turn out!
I actually quite like pickled carrots, but had never tried them until a few years ago.
Green beans are good this way, too.

Sarah said...

I think I have loved every pickled vegetable I have ever eaten! I don't know why I still haven't tried pickling things... one day.

Those look fantastic.