Cucumbers

2-Day Dill Pickles

Yes, you read that right – 2 days! Granted, day 1 is easy but very time consuming, it does take 2 full days to finish the canning process (plus another 4-6 weeks to let it sit, but I digress).

Before we get going – I figured I would start off with a little garden update (I just can’t help myself!). Obviously our cucumbers are doing fantastic – although they are not a fan of these 100°+ days that we have been having here in the Midwest. Each okra plant has at least 1 pod to cut each day (which quickly adds up – yum!), the bush beans are being destroyed by the ever so persistent Japanese Beetles, I’m finally able to harvest bell peppers, jalapenos, and banana peppers, and the sugar snap peas are hanging on for dear life. Any day now I should have a few pounds of tomatos ready (all at once, of course) as long as the pesky tomato caterpillars don’t get to them first.

See if you can find him in the first picture! The answer is in the second 🙂

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Moving on to the deliciousness that is Dill Pickles…. Keep in mind, I had a triple batch (12 lbs of cucumbers) so quantities shown in pictures vary from the recipe below.

Dill Pickles [yield: (6) Wide-mouth Pints]

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Cranberry Butter & Cranberry Fruit Leathers

Continuing on with the no-waste methods like we did in Blueberry Butter and Blueberry Syrup, we wanted to produce no-waste foods using cranberries.  (Side note – No, cranberries aren’t exactly in season but my freezer is overflowing and the 6 bags had to go!) Even better – these recipes are fairly hands off meaning that it either sits in a crock pot most of the day until its ready to be processed or its dehydrating away in a dehydrator. Due to this – you’re getting a 2-for-1 (recipe) special today. Enjoy 🙂

Cranberry Butter [yield: (9) Half-pints]

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Pickled Okra

Pickled Okra

Today has been a busy day! Between cleaning house (yuck), maintaining the garden, dehydrating apples, and finally getting around to canning, I am just now sitting down!

July 3, 2017 HarvestThe garden is doing fantastic! Today we officially pulled our first red tomatoes in addition to 3 jalapeños, 3 bell peppers, 2 banana peppers, a number of green beans, and some more cucumbers and okra! Since we are quickly accumulating okra, it was time to do something before they start going bad. After last year’s abundance of okra (which we fried, pickled, and froze) we decided to plant 8 times as many okra (aka we realized how much we love it!). With that being said, today’s task was pickled okra. There are a number of variations of pickled okra, but this (below) is what we found that we like the most.

Oh, before we get going – let’s backtrack to those Drunken Cherries for a second. They barely made it the 24 hour waiting period before we popped open a jar of bourbon cherries. I am not a huge fan of Bourbon but boy were these delicious! We used 1 tbsp of bourbon per jar – they definitely smelled like bourbon but not nearly as potent to the taste – yummy!

Now, lets get back on track – Pickled Okra!

Pickled Okra [yield: (3) Quarts]

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Preparing to make drunken cherries

Drunken Cherries

I’ve been wanting to get around to making these for a long time and I finally remembered to pick up cherries at the store. Plus, I think they will make great gifts come Christmas time and wanted to ensure that they are as delicious as they sound!

I was surprised at how quick and easy these are. Plus, due to how they are processed you can make each jar with a different spirit. There are a number of renditions of this recipie but below is my take. Additionally – you can always adjust the amount of sugar used to make the syrup (it will affect how thick the syrup gets as well as how sweet it becomes) as well as the amount of spirits added.

We decided to try Vodka Cherries, Amaretto Cherries, and Whiskey Cherries.

Drunken Cherries [yield: (5) Half-pints]

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