I also bought about 10 pounds of pickling cucumbers from the folks at Black's Heritage Farm in Ames. They helped start the nearby Slater farmers' market on Wednesday night. I can just call head, and they'll have the cucumbers(or whatever veggies I want) waiting for me after work.
Since my garden dill is starting to wilt, I decided to try bread & butter pickles. Unfortunately, in what has become an all-too-common pattern of mine, I failed to read the recipe ahead of time. When I decided to start canning on Saturday night, I realized I needed to soak the cucumbers in ice water for four hours first. So I delayed the canning until Sunday.
After the four-hour soak, I read through the rest of the recipe and realized I forgot to add the pickling salt. So I added it to the water last minute. Hope it doesn't make a difference in the long run...
I have to admit, it took forever to pickle and can all those darn pickles. It took more than eight hours, from start to finish, including four hours of boiling the pickling liquid and processing the jars. My canner can only process six pint-size jars at once, and I ended up with 18 jars of pickles. And the smell of the hot cider vinegar was overwhelming. I completely lost my appetite for the rest of the night.
But when I finished the last jar at 8:30 p.m., Josh and my sister told me the pickles looked great. I hope they taste better than they smelled. I may never get the smell of vinegar out of my mind. My pickling days are officially over (at least for the summer).