One of the wonderful things about being married to someone who loves speculative fiction is that my wife gets to talk about things like what we will need to do to deal with the Apocalypse. There are Zombie Ants people, it could be real! So of course, the lost art of canning and pickling is an important survival tool. Pickles do not need refrigeration until they are opened!
I used the recipe from Sharon Howard, and I have used it multiple times, and it usually works great. I thought that it really is a great recipe, so I did not see the need to copy the whole thing here and go through it as I would for another recipe that is not available elsewhere. I do have some tips though, as I have run through this recipe a few times.
Pickling and canning, as we are all probably aware, was a big part of the history of mankind, as refrigeration was not always as readily available as it is now. I think it is a lost art. Homemade pickles are so much better than the store-bought, mass produced kind. I remember making jams with my parents when I was young, and it is something I remember with fondness. So give the pickles a try!
Here are some tips:
1) You can get the jars that you need at Walmart or any similar store. I recommend getting the wide mouth jars, because you may need to stuff some of those cucumbers into the jars. Even though you may still have to cut some of the cucumbers if they are too large to fit, the wide mouth jars just make it so much easier.
2) The pot to process the jars is totally worth it, especially if you think you may use it once again. The pot makes it so much easier to process the jars. Processing the jars is when you put it in boiling water to kill off any unwelcome microscopic critters, and to seal the jars.
3) Once you process the jars, the top of the jar will bow upward for a long time. Do not panic, it will still likely seal after it cools down for a while. It is sealed when you push down on it, and it does not come back up.
4) To the recipe, I added several whole peppercorns to each jar. You could also add peppers of some sort, if you would like the heat. The only thing you do not want to mess with is the salt, vinegar, and water ratios. These ratios are important for the preservation of the pickles. If you do find it too intense, you can add a little sugar to balance out the taste.
5) If for whatever reason your jars do not seal, no need to panic. Don’t process it again, as the pickles will end up being ultra-soggy. Just put them in the fridge, and make them refrigerator pickles instead.
That’s it really, easy-peasy, mac and cheesey. It is a bit of work, but lots of fun, and you have great tasting pickles in a couple of months. Plus, you will have something to eat when zombies take over the earth. I can hear my wife’s eyes rolling from the other room. 😉