April’s food preserving challenge for Food In Jars was quick pickles. There are a lot more options for pickles than simply cucumbers. There are many veggies and even fruit recipes out there. I chose to make Dilly Beans.
I mentioned it to some people here in the Midwest who had never heard of them and they said it must be a Southern thing. I said I never had them in the South maybe it was a new thing. I’m guessing it’s probably an old thing that has found a revival because of the new popularity of canning and food preservation.
I also considered carrots, mushrooms, or okra. I even looked at a recipe for strawberry pickles. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I was still getting over sickness at the first of the month and had to put all of my energy on preparing music for Holy Week. Glad to say I seem to be over it, but I’m still working on getting my energy back from not being able to wear my CPAP for four months. If it is not one thing or another.
I really like the idea of quick pickles in some respects. They really have a fresher taste without the heating that canning requires and they are pretty easy to put together. They aren’t really practical for dealing with your garden produce. Last summer I had to put up 28 gallons of cucumbers before leaving town. I ended up making them into refrigerator pickles and they took up so much space. I will stick to this method for off season pickles, for gifts, or for interesting and different recipes.
I used this recipe with some modifications. It made a pint of beans. Nice for a quick extra flavor to keep in the fridge or to put together for a gift. www.mnfoodassociation.org/recipe/refrigerator-dilly-beans
- I left out the onions because my husband has a food intolerance to them. I added extra garlic instead.
- Most instructions say keep the beans long, but I bought them on sale at Aldi during Holy Week and I was too busy and tired to get to them in a timely manner. They developed some brown spots that I needed to cut out. If I make them again I will do long ones.
- I began to reorganize my spice cabinet a while back and pulled out the spices I don’t use much or that were in odd shaped bottles. I never finished that project and now some of those spices are missing in the mound of clutter in my kitchen. The red pepper flakes were part of that project and I could not find them. I added a little extra black peppercorns instead.
- I didn’t boil my brine. I wasn’t sure of the reason for boiling except to help dissolve the salt and sugar. I just used some of the blanching water that was still warm for the water part of the recipe. The instructions said make the brine first to let it have time to cool to room temperatures and then to blanch. I blanched first because I don’t follow directions very well.
- I used dry dill weed because we don’t have dill growing in the garden yet.
I have to let the beans sit for a couple of days to give a report on how they turned out. I will try to update on Monday.
For May the challenge will be cold pack canning.