Canning Pickles for the First Time

Canned pickles submerged under water.
Canned pickles submerged under water.

Our family loves to eat fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer.  We are trying new ways (new to us) to have those foods still available during the long, cold winter months.  A few weeks ago we made some refrigerator pickles with cucumbers from the farmers market.  Those were delicious…but only stay good for a month.  We bought some more cucumbers the next week and decided to can them so that we could enjoy fresh pickles this fall and winter.

Pickles are ready to cool on the counter
Pickles are ready to cool on the counter

This was my very first time canning.  The equipment can be quite an investment up front, but I know it will pay off over time.  I followed the directions included with the canning equipment and followed them very closely.  My daughter was by my side watching the process and asking lots of good questions.  I have to admit though they were tough to answer since I wasn’t all that sure what I was doing!  We started off by heating up the jars and lids on the stove while I cut the cucumbers into spears.  After cutting the cucumbers I started the liquid mixture of water, vinegar, and pickle mix on the stove.  We removed the cans from the water and loaded them up with the cucumber spears.  Once packed, the liquid mixture was poured in.  We put on the lids as tight as we could and lowered into the water basin.  As soon as they were done being heated up, we set the three jars on the counter to cool over night.  The big test came the next morning when we checked to make sure the lids were sealed.  Success!  They didn’t “pop” when we pushed on the top.

These jars will be good for up to one year.  For now they are safely tucked in our pantry.  I can’t wait to open these up this winter and enjoy a fresh reminder of summer time!

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