Monday, October 8, 2012


Am I taking this DIY thing too far? Perhaps. But my newest venture came about when a bunch of girlfriends decided to get together and can. How adorably 1950's are we?

Not us, but might as well be [source]

My friend Deanna volunteered her canning equipment for our gathering. I have enough strawberry-rhubarb jam to get me through a zombie apocalypse so I needed to find something different to make. After a bit of exploring, I found a recipe for bread and butter pickles that looked promising.

I bought a ton of cucumbers, bell peppers, onions and garlic. Then I got to work chopping, chopping and chopping. I cut the recipe in half, but it still made a TON of pickles...around 4 1/2 quarts.

While my cucumbers sat in salt for for three hours, Katie made a pear/peach compote that smelled amazing. Karen made a spiced apple jam and Alisha made pickled beans.

Katie's compote and my pickle brine

Pickled beans and pear/peach compote

1950's housewife?

Adding the brine

After letting the pickles sit for a couple of days, I opened them up and gave them a try. My verdict: they're OK. I really like the flavor of the pickles. It's absolutely spot-on in terms of the slightly sweet, tanginess you expect from bread and butter pickles. But they're soggy. I really wanted more of a crunch. I think it's because I used regular cucumbers instead of pickling cucumbers, but I just couldn't find any! If I make these again I'll definitely look even harder for the right 'cukes.

All-in-all, we had an absolute blast channeling our inner-domestic goddesses. Thanks Deanna for organizing such a fun day!

*Alternate title for this post was "Yes, We Can!" but I thought it might get too political.


  1. That's ok. I don't really love the jam I made either. Too much pectin and too much lemon juice (or not enough sugar). But now I'm not intimidated by canning.

  2. Good call not to title it "Yes, We Can"...reminds me of Hillary. so fun to see you conquering the women's world of the past! Just stop before you have darning parties, please.