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Congrats! I just finished my second batch of pickle making. I tried 2 different recipes for sweet relish, made bread and butter slices and dill/garlic pickle halves (not all today). But I also started the day by making 1 1/2 gallons of yogurt. I'm pooped! Janet
Glad you asked!! I found the best starter (for me) at http://www.cheesemaking.com --the Y5, which is a "sweet" culture. They also have two others-a Bulgarian and a tangy. I like my yogurt the opposite of tangy! So I use this starter and only let it culture for about 4-4 1/2 hours. It is especially awesome if you have access to whole, fresh milk right from the cow! I recently bought the other 2 cultures just to see how different they taste. I've also made several fresh cheeses, ricotta being my favorite and easiest, and other fresh dairy products like sour cream and buttermilk. D mail me if you have any questions. And 30 minute mozarella is fab and easy! Janet
Do you use a machine? I've looked at one on Amazon. The DH eats a ton of yogurt and it would be so much easier to make my own, besides he grew up on a dairy farm and it would be nice for him to be able to get something similar to what "mom" aka the maid use to make.
I make 2 gallons of yogurt at a time! No machine for that. I use quart and/or pint canning jars, my canning pot and I have a temperature controller that you can set at a specific temp and it will turn the hotplate I use off and on to maintain that temp. I put enough water in the canning pot to come up to just below the threads of the jars. Then I let it do it's thing for 4-4 1/2 hours, take them out and put in frig. As far as the yogurt, I also add 1 c of Org. Valley dry milk powder per gallon of milk when heating the milk on the stove. (Then cool it down, put in starter, in jars, in canning pot etc.).
Thanks for the tip, Cocoa! I'll add Homesteading to my favorites and follow. I'd love to read what others are doing in the cheesemaking/dairy products world!
And sorry, were we talking about pickles?? hahaha! I'm just about to go make some sugar-free dills with the last of my pickling cucs.
I didn't realize they put pickle crisp back on the market till i saw it in walmart the other day, i've been using that calcium chloride for years now, and have been buying it off the internet. good to know i can pick it up locally again. that stuff is great!
I use l/2 to 3/4 tsp of the pickle crisp in each jar, I put it in the bottom of the jar with the garlic and other spices and pack the pickles in there and then the boiling vinegar water. my dill pickles are crisp for several years. i can't make crispy dill pickles with out it.
well, remember, I bought mine off the internet and the directions on the bottle said one teaspoon per quart l/2 per pint, I don't know what the pickle crisp jar says at walmart, but even when they sold it before in the little packets they said l tsp per quart.
I just put the whole uncut clean cucumbers in a 5 gallon bucket and cover with a combo of ice cold water and pickling salt. Let sit for several hours and rinse and drain, pickle using whatever recipe you like.
I would think crispness only. I clean mine well especially on the blossom end. I can tell a difference in the ones I don't do a bath with and then add the crisping agent. Not sure if both of these steps need to be done but since I love the pickles I made I'll use the same method again.
I've also used the ice/salt bath after cutting them in thick slices. I think it does help with crispness. It just depends on what recipe I am following. Some say to just salt and let drain for a couple of hours, then rinse. I'm still experimenting to see what comes out best. And this year, I used my "regular" cucs for a batch since my pickling ones were dead, and the pickles came out crunchy! Have no idea what was different--did it before and made a note to use pickling cucs and no processing (for frig pickles). But I processed them anyway and they came out great. I didn't add any sweetener to them--wonder if that made ANY difference? Who knows?!
well I'm done with this years batch (or at least the dill) I've done over 50+ jars and am about to start in on the salsa and tomatoes. I'll freeze the tomatoes in 15oz foodsaver bags so I can use in soups, stews etc and can the salsa. I also noticed about roasting the cherry tomatoes in another thread so I think I'll give that a try as well this year.
I'm just about to plant my pickling cucs when I get home tomorrow. Can't wait to make more pickles and sugar free sweet relish. That was really good! And if the worms don't eat all my tomatoes, I'll can some of those too :)