Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Random... and pickles.

Tonight is back to school night.  Josie will take her school supplies in, meet her teacher, then we're coming home and having tacos.  I cannot believe the time has come.

Tomorrow I will be 33 weeks.  It has flown but it is dragging all the same.  I am looking forward to meeting this new little girl.

I am struggling with feeling guilty about that excitement.  With Sarah I was so grateful for just the day, and how Marie was doing, and I really never daydreamed much about the little life within me.  I was grateful for hearing she was growing well, I was praying like crazy that the baby thrive, but I never felt that giddy excitement.  I feel so bad that I didn't do that for Sarah, and guilty for feeling it now.  Mama guilt is complicated.  Extra kisses now make up for it.

Tonight we are having Carne Asada Tacos using the recipe Clarissa turned me on to.  I never make salsa to go with them and cook the meat in the crock pot.  My family doesn't seem to mind.

I am pretty sure the terrible two's have arrived.  My sweetheart has been a handful lately.

I made eighteen jars of pickles yesterday and tonight I am pulling the cucumber plants.  That is a total of 30 jars of dill pickles.  That is insane.  For Katie, and anyone else who might care, this is my recipe for pickles.  It is a compilation of a recipe found on food.com and Luke's cousin's wife Kendra's spicy dill pickles that are awesome.  I just altered it enough to make a ton!

SPICY DILL PICKLES (this recipe is to make 7 quart jars at a time, for more than that you just keep making another batch of brine because you want it hot)  Beg, borrow, or steal to get a large water bath canner with the rack.  It's just too hard otherwise.

for the jars
fresh dill
jalapeno peppers, enough to do at least one pepper per jar
minced garlic (I just by the jar at the grocery store)
dried dill (because it should be dilly, otherwise what's the point?)
for the brine
8 1/2 cups water (distilled)
2 1/4 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt


1.  Fill water bath roughly 2/3 full with tap water.  Start it boiling, it takes forever.

2.  Fill a small pot with some water and start warming your lids.  I do mine until they just boil and pull it off the heat.

3. Get the brine going.  Mix water, vinegar, and salt and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.

4.  Get your jars hot.  Do this either by running them through the dishwasher and using them just as they dry or by putting them in a large pot of boiling water.

5.  Slice, dice, get your cucumbers ready.  And dice up the peppers.

All of this will take hours.  It is a slow start.

6.  To prepare jars add to the bottom of each 1 diced jalapeno, 1/2 of a spoon of minced garlic (I just use a spoon from the silverware drawer), a dash of dried dill, and a nice piece of fresh dill.  Don't be skimpy.

7.  Fill jar with sliced cucumbers, try to get it nice an evenly filled, no huge gaps anywhere.  Don't stuff it so much there's no room for the brine.

8.  Pour in the brine (use a funnel).  Add a hot lid and your mason jar ring and set aside.  

Once you have 6-8 jars you are ready to put them in the boiling water bath.  Add jars to boiling water, add water as needed so that when the rack is fully lowered your jars are covered by an inch to two inches of water.  Bring heat back up.  Once it begins to boil I process my quart jars for 20 minuets (if you live over 6000 feet you have to adjust that time).  Pints would process for 15 minuets.  

Once done remove jars and set on a towel to cool for 24 hours.  If the seal hooray, if they don't put them in the fridge and eat them in the next week or so.  

Josie and I are going to work on the baby's blanket (I have made one for each of the girls) and then I have to do her back-to-school mani/pedi.



Clarissa said...

Can't believe it's almost time to meet that sweet girl inside of you! :)

And now I'm craving tacos! ;)

I canned like 56 quarts of pickles the summer I was pregnant with Marcus, and we still have plenty left! lol. I just did plain dill (my mom's recipe), but your recipe sounds good!

Been thinking of you a lot this month... can't believe it's two years since Marie went Home! Bittersweet... Hugs to you!

Praying always!

Katie said...

Those sound delicious! You're amazing for making so many pickles. I think I'll give it a try (on a much smaller scale). :)