Adventures in Canning: Pickles & Banana Peppers
Apparently Tuesdays are now the day that I talk about canning on the blog. If only I could find a way to can tacos. That would be amazing. Anyway.
I've wanted to make pickles and banana peppers for as long as I can remember. I love pickles. So very much. And so the thought of having my very own homemade pickles sounded pretty awesome. And Mr. T and I have a thing for banana peppers so I thought why not do those too.
And I'm here to tell you that canning pickles and peppers was really quite easy. Much easier than I thought. It just takes a few simple ingredients.
All I did was buy a big old bag of pickling salt (Mrs. Wages to be exact. I have no idea if this is the best, but this is what they had at Meijer so that's what I bought). You can buy seasoning mixes, but I liked the idea of adding my own herbs since the whole point is to have a pickle that's full of fresh ingredients. I also found out that you can use the pickling salt for other things as well.
To can pickles & banana peppers:
For the pickles you will need:
Cucumbers (I used the little ones because I wanted them to be crunchy)
Hot peppers (I just used a mixture of the hot peppers you can buy in the produce section)
Pickling vinegar (I just used regular vinegar since I couldn't find the pickling stuff and regular ol' white vinegar has the right amount of acidity
For the peppers you just need water, vinegar, and pickling salt. Per a quick Pinterest search I found that the ingredients for peppers are almost the same -- you just don't add the garlic and the dill (obviously). So to cut back on all of my labor, I just made a pot of the water, vinegar, and pickling salt according to the instructions and adjusting for the smaller batch. Then I used that for both the peppers and the pickles and then processed it all at the same time.
I made a much smaller batch than what the instructions called for since I'm the only one in my house that eats pickles (I live with crazy people apparently). I only made four jars of pickles and two jars of peppers.
Here's exactly what I did to can pickles and peppers:
I prepped the jars according to the instructions to my canner. (It was really just to wash them since they're new.)
I made the water, vinegar, and salt mixture according to directions on pickling salt package. (OK, technically my mom did that and Mr. T helped her figure out the adjustments for all of the measurements. They're way better at math and we don't need to be technical here.)
Then I filled the jars with the peppers and cucumbers. I put a mix of hot peppers and banana peppers in one jar, just banana peppers in another, then put the cucumbers and hot peppers in the rest of the jars. I kept the cucumbers whole for some of the jars and then chopped them into pieces for some. I found it much easier to fit the cucumbers in the jar once they had been chopped. But I really wanted to have some whole mini pickles because those are my fave.
I added the dill and garlic to the jars with the cucumbers. I added more like 3 heads of dill and 3 cloves of garlic to each one because one head of dill just didn't seem enough. I have no idea why I thought this, I just did.
Then I filled each jar with the water, vinegar, and salt mixture and put them in my canner.
I followed the instructions for my canner and processed the jars in a water bath.
I let jars cool. Test to be sure they all sealed.
I tried some of the pickles yesterday and they were amazing. I almost feel like they could have used a tad more dill and maybe even a few more spicy peppers so I might play around with my recipe next time. But they are really tasty and I'm excited to have homemade pickles to eat.