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Preppers Picking Pickled Preps

Forgive the tongue twister, I couldn't help myself.

A few weeks ago Tim and I started in on preserving the daily haul form the garden. We had put it off to every other weekend, but started to notice that we were feeding more zucchini to the chickens then we were getting to eat ourselves. Part of the problem being that we love to do things together, and with out schedules not lining up, we tended to get less done then we would if we divided and conquered.

Thankfully when we started making zucchini pickles, we were able to do it together.

We started with the freshest squash we could find

We washed it and put it through the food processor to make nice even slices. Or we would have if the food processor didn't hate me.

Its a wee evil thing.

We got through though, and ended up with a huge salad bowl full of tasty crisp squash ready to be brined and pickled.

Making sure to get our jars nice and clean and sterilized

And prepping our water bath canner. Its important to make sure that all of the equipment we use is as clean and sterile as we can manage to avoid the jars not setting right and the food getting spoiled.

Next we prepared the brine for out pickles. We've been looking through recipes for a brine we can make ourselves, but haven't managed to find one that we like yet. If you have a recipe you like for dill pickles, drop us a line and let us know!

Mixing together all that pickly goodness.

Pickles are packed! Love the colors the blue jar adds to the squash.

We filled each jar with the best looking slices and then filled it with the hot brine liquid leaving about 1/4 of head room at the the top of the jar.

Then we wiped the rim with white vinegar and added the top, careful to use our little magnet and not touch the sterilized lid.

Once that was on we added the metal band and screwed it on to minimal tightness. You always want to make sure you don't tighten the bands too far or can cause problems in the canner.

Filling up the bath, making sure not to pack the jars too tightly

Our canner is all metal, so we have to replace the lid carefully so we don't get burned by the handle!

All done!

We set the timer per the recipe on the back of brine and the size of the jars, careful to make sure we were starting the timer after the water had started to boil. Once we got a good boil we set the cans inside, put the lid on, and started our timer.

Tasty dill pickled zucchini ready for the shelf in the stock room.

Next up will be doing bread and butter zucchini and then harvesting the cucumbers to get a really crips set of pickles!

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