Friday, August 6, 2010

Canning the Pickles- The Final, Final Step in The Pickle Project

I got so excited about finishing making my first batch of homemade pickles that I forgot I had to can them if I wanted to keep them for long.  Of course, my grandmother always kept hers tucked away in the corner of the basement in a crock covered with a towel to keep the flies out.  But it's hard to share pickles with friends and neighbors that way.  Up until now I've been putting my beloved pickles into jars as I need them.  Then I warn the recipients that if they don't eat the pickles right away, they need to keep them in the refrigerator.

So far, everyone I've given them to has eaten them pretty quickly.  One friend was outraged when he found out that his wife had eaten the entire jar while he was at work.  (In her defense, it was only a pint jar.)  When I heard about his wife's pickle-hoarding, I was secretly pleased and gave my friend his own jar, not to be shared with anyone.

Today I want to give the pickles to someone I don't know very well.  Someone who makes her own delicious pickles.  So I figure I'd better properly can these.  I followed my mother's directions...  wash the jars in hot water and heat the lids in a pan of simmering water for 3 to 5 minutes.  Put the pickles in the heated jars, heat the pickle juice to a simmer and pour over the pickles in the cleaned jars, stopping a half inch from the top.  Add lids to the jars and screw on rings.  Wait 30 minutes.  You know jars are properly sealed when you hear a "ping".

I've been waiting over 30 minutes now and I was starting to give up hope when I got this e-mail from my mother.
My nine jars of tomatoes just pinged almost an hour after processing so don't give up on your pickles.  Mom
I'm still waiting waiting for the ping, but I guess I'll just have to be patient a little while longer.  I'll let you know what happens.

UPDATE: August 6, 2010 3:41 PM
Over an hour has passed and no "ping". Sigh...

UPDATE: August 6, 2010 4:10 PM
An hour and a half has passed. I think I heard one ping and one of the jars looks different from the rest.  I opened one of the three remaining jars and it hadn't sealed.

UPDATE: August 6, 2010 9:30 PM
Alas, I only heard one ping today.  I'll have to re-boil the syrup and start over again tomorrow.

UPDATE: August 7, 2010 6:46 AM
I woke up this morning and all the jars (except the one I opened in a fit of frustration) seem to have sealed.  I guess my mother was right.  Be patient.


  1. PICKLE MEMORIES! I was lucky enough to try some of these pickles and take a jar home, which flooded my senses with memories of my Mom's big 'ole vat of pickles in the corner of our living room. I think she/we did it twice - once sweet, once dill. The sweets were my fave, and Susan's taste just like them!

  2. I love this pickle cook book. Not that I'm making my own sloe gin.