There are several ways to can or pickle excess produce from your garden. Canning allows you to preserve what you have grown, or those delicious vegetables that you have bought while they are in season and enjoy them throughout the winter. The following is an easy and affordable way to go about canning anything from cucumbers to carrots, jalapeños, green beans, cauliflower, onions or pretty much anything!
What you will need:
- Rubbing alcohol
-Jars with lids (it is always good to save your sauce or salsa jars, you never know when they will come in handy!)
-A Small Sauce Pan
-A large pot
- Tongs and oven mitt or a pickling kit.
1-You will start by sterilizing your jars with the rubbing alcohol. Rub them down well with a paper towel -don't forget the caps- and let them air out a bit.
2- Next you want to slice your cucumbers thinly,this can be done also with a mandolin,as well as any other vegetables you would like to add. In our recipe we added:
> Half a white onion
>2 Cloves of garlic halved
>One Jalapeño Sliced
3- put all of your ingredients in the jars leaving a bit of room at the top. Do not layer the cucumber slices evenly, you want the liquid to be able to reach all surface areas.
NEXT IS THE LIQUID: The following measurements will make one "Ragu- sized" jar of pickles.
What you will need:
-1 cup White vinegar
-3/4 cup of White sugar
-3 teaspoons Mustard Seed
-2 teaspoons Celery Seed
-1 tablespoon KOSHER Salt
- Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
4- Fill your large pot (should be large enough to allow you to submerge your jar in the water) with water and bring to a boil.
5- in your smaller saucepan bring all of your ingredients to a boil. Once boiling quickly and carefully add them to your jar on top of the vegetables, filling up to the top of your vegetables and leaving just a small bit of space at the top of the jar.
6- Close the top fairly tightly and flip upside down. This will help to make the jar air sealed.
7- once your water is boiling, submerge your jar entirely in the boiling water and leave for TEN minutes. This will further aid in air sealing your jar.
If you do not have a pickling kit which would provide a basket for your jars so you can carefully pull them out of the boiling water, take CAUTION while using tongs and an oven mitt or whatever other tool you may have to serve this purpose.
Be CAREFUL when handling the jars. If the jar is older and has been fairly worn, it can crack when put into the boiling water. This may also occur if the top of the jar has been sealed on TOO TIGHT. Always handle your jars with care.
Now you have preserved vegetables, which should last in a cool, dry storage place for a year. I would recommend leaving the jars for at least a month to allow them to season. There are several recipes and tutorials available online for pickling. This recipe will result in a sweeter pickle with a little heat thanks to the jalapeno.