Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fear of canning -- this is why I have never done this before!

August 27 - 
Attempted my first ever water bath canning yesterday. Mom and I spent the afternoon Sunday doing it together with absolutely 100% seal and no broken jars.

Solar dills - see story below

Fresh dill batch
Ready for out 18 minutes in the spa!!!

Then we got them ready to go into the water bath.  When we took them out it reminded me of a bunch of people sitting in a steam bath or maybe the hot mineral spring spas in the mountains.

Amazingly, we had no mishaps other than the mix I got for the brine was supposed to make enough for 7-11 pounds of cucumbers.  I had 11 pounds of cucumbers between 10 half pint jars and 8 quart jars.  Mom and I had to come up with a plan for 4 of the quart jars because I ran out of brine.  So they got a fresh dill pickling spice mixture.  Will be interesting to see how they taste.  But I have 10 half pints of hamburger dills and those are for sale - $3 a jar. . . . . I will let you know how they taste after Labor Day weekend when I can sample them from one of the quart jars.

This was the final product of our water bath session on Sunday afternoon.

First off I had too much water in the canner so only could get 4 quarts in there. As I was loading them carefully and dipping out water to keep it from overflowing I heard a weird pop. I kept on loading. When I decided that 4 was going to be all I got without a boiling flood I put the rack down in the water. One of the quarts floated.

What the heck? I dont remember floating them yesterday. I carefully lift it up only to see my pickles slide out the bottom and take a swim. Well crap. So I pulled the jar on out and put another in its place. Again, I hear a weird pop. But I put the lid on and start the timer.

I called mom on her cell phone while the 4 quarts were processing to see what I needed to do. Well when the timer went off and I started to carefully pull out the jars, I watched in horror as another set of pickles slowly slid out of the jar as I lifted it out of the boiling water. Well damn. Those were some of my prettiest pickles and even had a few whole dill "gurken" style ones. Deer better like their treat.

An hour later after I have cleared the canner of water, wasted pickles taken out to the deer feeding area, glass in the dump trash, and got the fresh water boiling I put the last 2 jars in. Hold my breath and put the lid on.

18 minutes later I pull out one and it is intact - YEA!!! I pull out the other one and guess what? - Yep, another broken jar. 

 I was so mad that I decided that I didn't like wasting my solar pickles in this manner and if necessary, I will buy me a frig at the next auction so I have room to store my pickles.  

Sorry no pictures of Monday's failed attempt, I was just too cranky to think about taking pictures to provide proof of my misfortune.  Also would have been to horrible to be reminded, just take my words for it.