Happy 4th of July! Today I slept in, finished a book that I was reading, fed my worms (the compost was getting a little stinky), and planned for my new class that starts on Monday. Then with the rest of the afternoon ahead of me, I decided that it was time to do some canning.
I know that the experts say that you should only can produce that was picked the same day, but since I am canning the produce that I have grown, I need to wait until I have enough to can. So my produce has been picked all week and may be up to 7 days old. I figure that if I went to the grocery store to buy produce, it would be at least that old. I guess we'll see how it tastes. I had 1 lb. 10 oz. of pickling cucumbers and 2 lbs 6 oz of green and purple beans. Not enough for a full batch of anything, so I decided to make a half batch of dilly beans and a half batch of dill pickles. To make the dill pickles, the cucumbers needed to sit in a brine for 2 hours, so I set that up first. My in-laws got me a pasta put with a colander that fits in the pot. It was perfect for keeping the cucumbers under water.
Next I had to get the water in the boiling water canner boiling. That can take 45 minutes if it is full of water. I put 7 pint jars inside the canner to sterilize them. Then I started the pickling liquid for the dilly beans. My dilly bean recipe comes from my aunt Cindy, but I add more crushed red pepper because Jason and I like spicy pickles. While the pickling liquid heated up, I sliced the ends off of the beans and cut them so that they would fit into a wide-mouthed pint jar. My recipe calls for fresh dill, but I only had dried dill. I hope that it works all right.
Jason and I get to spend the rest of the 4th together, watching movies and hanging out! He get's the day off tomorrow, and I only work in the morning. I hope that everyone has a fun time with friends and family!