Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My green thumb!

You probably remember that a few months ago JM and I planted the seeds to start the plants for our garden.  I am simply amazed at what those little seeds have done!  Our garden has turned out wonderfully, and we are harvesting the produce now.

Our garden!
The tomato plants were as tall as I am (until the latest storm moved through.)  We have been canning tomato juice from the garden.  We have  canned 33 quarts so far, and there are plenty of tomatoes left to ripen yet.  Our pickle plants have been producing quite well also.  I made a batch of sweet pickles for the first time, and have also canned some dill pickles.  I picked a bunch of cucumbers again today and decided to make a few more jars of dill pickles so they did not go to waste.

I started by soaking the pickles in ice water for a couple of hours.  This makes them really crisp.

Then I gathered my ingredients for the brine and scalded my jars.  I cut up the pickles to the size I wanted them and positioned them in the jars with garlic and dill.  I also added a little sugar to each jar to give them a little sweetness.  My grandmother used to do this, and her pickles were always wonderful. 

After I brought the brine to a boil, I added it to the jars and sealed them.  Then I soaked the jars in boiling water to make sure they sealed up.  I don't do this with everything that I can, but it works well for dill pickles.

And here is my finished product.  They will be ready to enjoy in about 6-8 weeks.

We have enjoyed a lot of wonderful produce from the garden this summer.  My next "trial" will be to can pizza sauce.  I am learning as I go this year.  I never expected our garden to produce so much!  We have a bunch of great things to enjoy this winter!