First batch of pickles

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

used my canner as a water bath..lol wayyy to big but I'll be doing cream corn next. The green beans I'll freeze as I like them better frozen.

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Frankfort, KY(Zone 6a)

Looking good

Dwight

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

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

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

what starter do you use for your yogurt?

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Glad you asked!! I found the best starter (for me) at 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

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Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

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.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

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.).

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Your pickles look good araness.

I'd love to have a good recipe for dill relish. If anybody has any.

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

liked the coment about making Yogurt, [never have tried that before]-- my cow will be calving in Sept, -- will have lots of milk to play with, --

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

SO JEALOUS!! Good luck with the birth. My GYN just told me she just helped a cow deliver her calf! She is retiring at the end of Aug. I said she could be a vet midwife next!

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Yummy looking pickles, Araness. I almost passed this thread because I didn't grow cucumbers this year..then I find a secret hideout for other cheese and yogurt makers! lol

I use Dannon plain yogurt as my starter and put in mason jars. I put them in coleman cooler and pour hot (120 degrees) water up to the jar rim. Cooler keeps the heat in really well for me :0)


Michaelp, I remember a photo you posted (sorry if it wasn't you) of a brown swiss. Lovely girl, ears and all :0) best of luck with calving.

Janet, you may have already tried this. If not, try1/2 cup of yogurt, per gallon of milk and let sit 30 minutes before making the "30 minute mozarella". It adds so much flavor!

Darius and I go 'off topic' allll the time in the homesteading forum about cheese making.lol And I know we both would love to see more cheese makers join the conversations :) Stop on by if you'd like!


KathyAnn, I feel like I'm leaving and Dwight out.lol Sorry, don't have a dill recipe, I'm a sweet relish gal.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

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.

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

The cow, -- "Jersey" is a Jersey/ Brown Swiss cross, -- [who thinks she is a 900 lb lap dog] she is getting very big in the middle, and bagging up nicely, -- I had posted picts of her, -- thanks, --

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Not to worry . I've been so busy I haven't had time to come back here. lol, I did get that dill relish made yesterday and it looks great, taste has yet to be determined lol

Grand Saline, TX(Zone 7b)

Hope it will be the best ever, Kathy Ann ;0)

We started a cheese making thread, to make the conversation easier to follow. Anyone interested is welcome to stop on by http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1197714/ I expect to see you there, Janet!

MichealP, I read recently that of all the dairy breeds, brown swiss have higher chances of twins. Something to think as you watch her grow wider and wider.LOL

Lisle, IL(Zone 5a)

Made pickles and used "pickles crisp", followed the directions on the jar and the pickles still didn't come out crisp; any suggestions?

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

salt/ice water bath

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

That's a good tip. I also found that when I used regular cucs, I got mushy pickles. So I grow pickling cucs for pickles and other for salad/eating.

Lisle, IL(Zone 5a)

These were definitely pickling cukes, so I guess I'll try the salt/ice water bath on the next batch.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

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!

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Hey, I have some liquid calcium chloride for cheesemaking. How is this used for pickles? Does it help with crispness?

Lisle, IL(Zone 5a)

It's supposed to, but hasn't worked for me, following the directions on the bottle.

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

Bariolio, the sweet pickles you tasted at my house didn't have the calcium chloride, the dill did..you could taste the difference. Although I do think the Splenda also caused some of the softness.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

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.

Lisle, IL(Zone 5a)

The bottle said to use 1/4 tsp per quart; sounds like you're doubling or tripling so I guess I'll try that next time.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

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.

Arlington, MA(Zone 6a)

how do you do a salt/ice water bath? does it work with refrigerator pickles?

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

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.

Arlington, MA(Zone 6a)

this helps to crisp up the pickles? or is it a disinfecting step? (or both?)

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

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.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

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?!

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

I drape a grape leaf in the bottom of the jar, this supposedly helps with crispness and looks pretty.

Auburn, AL(Zone 8a)

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.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

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 :)

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

I'm growing the tiny Mexican Sour Gherkins this year. They are about the size of a bantam hen egg. I think they will make good pickles, assuming they grow well. The weather has been so crazy!

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