Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pickled today

In the process of weeding the hoop house, we discovered about a dozen cukes of a size to be pickled as spears.  So I did.   This is my first attempt at making pickles, so I hope I did it right.  The recipe (a sweet spear pickle recipe from the Ball book, that did NOT call for brined cukes, which I didn't want to mess with today) said it would make about 10 half-pints, but I ended up with seven half-pints and five pint-and-a-halfs.  There was exactly enough liquid to cover that.  My only issue is that the pickles float upward and the directions said to leave a half inch headspace.  I did that, but what if the pickles float above the liquid line (which some of them were doing before I put them in the water bath)?  Won't that make for icky pickle ends later?

Other than that, I took care of adding dirt to the taters til I ran out of dirt.  I'll have to pick up more this week.  I checked El Jefe's hops which are doing much better since I stopped watering them (?!).  I shut the irrigation off on the maters, too, because they have leaves yellowing at the bottom of the plant, and I noticed the dirt wasn't dry in the evening a couple days this week, which is insane, but the evidence was hard to deny.  I will start on the bee box this eve as soon as I get off the computer.  I think I'll try to do that in the house, because while it is hot in here, it is REALLY hot outside where there is no shade.  (Nineties again, and eighties in the house).

The second batch of cherry jam will wait til tomorrow, assuming the Pirate doesn't eat them all first.  I have to admit the temptation of cold cherries from the fridge has been impossible to resist today!


  1. My wife, the biologist/scientist, gave two possible reasons. One - if the cukes are unsliced, air bubbles sometimes form around the seeds, increasing buoyancy. Two - A high level of dissolved solids in the water (like salt) increases the density of the water, making the cukes more likely to float. Think Dead Sea. Hope this helps - ITB