Pickle Madness!

pickles in jarspickles sliceddilly beansThe green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash are rolling in with no sign of letting up any time soon. In fact, this is just the beginning! As much as I love garden fresh produce, I tire of the more prolific veggies before the end of the season. I hate to waste them, yet have trouble managing them. This year, I vowed to use as much of my produce as possible.

Since it’s impossible to eat every fresh green bean, cucumber, or zucchini I harvest, I’ve decided to preserve some of my precious produce by freezing and canning. I started with the green beans and froze a few quart bags. I also made a jar of pickled refrigerator dill beans. I made a simple brine using white vinegar, sugar, garlic, peppercorns, and fresh dill from the garden.

Next, I tackled the cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash. I didn’t have enough to warrant dragging out the canning paraphernalia, so I made three quarts of pickled refrigerator pickles and squash (zucchini and yellow). I used Ball pickling mix, though you can create your own, of course. It was easier to use the mix given the small quantity.

You know what’s great about refrigerator pickles? Since they won’t be stored long term, they don’t require official canning jars and lids. I did use one canning jar because I happened to have it. I used empty spaghetti jars for the other two. Reuse whenever possible! The other advantage of pickled refrigerator produce is that you can enjoy it a lot sooner than its canned counterparts. Refrigerator pickles are ready in about 4 days, though three weeks is ideal. If you can wait that long, good for you! I confess to trying mine after day one.

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6 thoughts on “Pickle Madness!

  1. New York (and much of New England I think) is having such a hard time with crops this year that yields are low and prices are up. I am not sure if I will get much canning done this year. We really need some sun. One of these days I am going to make pickles (though I gave up on cucumbers last year, I don’t think we had enough bees to pollinate). Hoping the sun comes out.

    • We’ve had a lot of rain too… as in, almost every day for several weeks! Kinda crazy. The good thing is that I don’t have to water.

  2. The memories of summer canning with my mother; the dilly beans were the best! I didn’t plant green beans this year but like you am getting an abundance of cucumber and squash, many I share with family and neighbors. My niece is new to gardening and is interested in canning. Can you guess who her teacher will be? Yep, my Mom. 🙂

    • I LOVE the fact that your mom is going to teach your niece how to can! That’s a memory and a moment she will never forget.

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