Flannel Jammies Farm

...praising God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia

Monday, July 1, 2013

happiness = small batch canning

I have the big, blue, speckled waterbath canner.  I am also blessed to have a huge and heavy All-American pressure canner.  So spoiled, I know.

But Flannel Jammies Farm is, well, an urban farm... on 1/5 acre... total.  Our gardens are beyond organic and we do grow intensively and all year.  Sometimes when I'm harvesting beets or carrots or cucumbers there just isn't enough harvest for one of those big canners to make an appearance.  That's the perfect time for small batch canning!

There's no shame in canning 3 jars of jam instead of 13, if that's what your harvest warrants! 

Back to cucumbers, though.  We grow mostly pickling cucumbers, a little row of them in a 4'x4' raised bed, climbing up a leaning handmade trellis.  As the sun crosses the sky, the trellised cucumbers shade Swiss Chard and cilantro beneath in the brightest and hottest part of the day.  This time of year I'll harvest 5 or so cucumbers a day, maybe more.  After a couple of days, I've got enough on hand to do a small batch of pickles! 

So I start with about 14 pickling cucumbers, scrubbed clean, blossoms removed.  Aren't they pretty and green? 

I cut them into spears or crinkle cuts or chunks.  I love pickles... crave them, snack on them, eat them with potato chips after a rough day.  Any-hoo...

I pack them into jars and cover them with the pickling liquid, sealing the jars carefully, and get them into my trusty small-batch canning basket and lower that into a large stock pot of boiling water.  After processing, cooling, and seal-checking, they glisten in my pantry until ready to devour!  A few days later, I'll have enough to do another small batch... or maybe there will be a couple of really good days and I'll have enough for a big canner load.

Here's a link to a quick and easy Flex-batch Kosher Dill Pickle canning recipe from Ball's Fresh Preserving website.  It's the first pickle recipe I used when I started canning.  And here's another recipe from my sweet friend, Lanette, at Homesteading on the Homefront; it's similar to one that I use often...  Bread and Butter Pickles.  A tip: use Pickle Crisp or Kosher Dill Pickle Mix with Pickle Crisp for that satisfying *snap* when you bite into a pickle!
(thanks so much, Rose, for the adorable timer!!)


Megan @ Restoring the Roost said...

I love small batch canning! Especially for pickles :) Sometimes I just make a few jars of refrigerator pickles and those are just enough. Thanks for the links to these pickle recipes- I'm always looking for good ones!

W. Latane Barton said...

I love those pickling cucumbers. But, they are hard to find in my grocery store and if I do, it's 6 to a pack and then I have to throw some out. Just can't win.

Heather E. said...

This makes me so happy. If you ever need rabbit manure, you've got a friend that can get some for you. ;-)

Jennifer at 1840 Farm said...

I can't wait to make this. It looks delicious! I am a proud co-host of the From the Farm Blog Hop and I know that our readers will love this post as much as I did. I hope that you will take a moment and add your link to this week's collection.

I just pinned this post to a few of my Pinterest boards. My followers will love this recipe. I hope that you'll link up and then come back again next week!

Jennifer @1840Farm

Cath @ Where the Watermelons Grow said...

We've been pickling sooo much here in Norfolk because our CSA gives us more than we can possibly eat in one week. Pickled beets, turnips, cauliflower...the one thing we haven't tried is cucumbers and thanks to you that's next. :)