first time canning.

mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)July 19, 2014

My daughter and I made our first pickles. I think I'm hooked now. I just hope these taste OK. Just used a dill pack from the store.

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Congrats! I am happy to hear this wonderful news and excited for both of you. What a great adventure! I am sure they will taste just fine. I do predict becoming addicted to canning is in your future if it hasn't already struck.

There's nothing wrong with using a packaged mix to make pickles. I do it all the time. I used to buy all the pickling spices and mix up my own, but it just became too time-consuming, given that I am canning all the time and never have enough time as it is. When you mix up your own pickling spices, too, if you run out of one thing, that means a trip to the store, which isn't fun if you are in the middle of a canning session where you're going to make several batches back to back. That's especially a problem, too, if you're out in a rural area far from stores. I tried to get around running out of spices by buying spices in bulk from Pendery's (For me, a trip to the Pendery's Spice store in Fort Worth is the equivalent of a trip to Disney World.)

I have used Mrs. Wage's pickling mixes a lot the last few years. My new favorite one is called Zesty Bread and Butter Pickles. They make a spicy-sweet pickle that is out of this world. Every year, when the Mrs. Wage's mixes arrive in local stores, I buy a couple of packages every week for a couple of months until I have as many as I think I'll need. I use them to make pickles, as intended, and I use them to make Candied Jalapenos, merely substituting the sliced jalapeno peppers for the cucumbers. Either the first or second year the Zesty B&B Pickle mix appeared in stores here, it kept selling out, and it wasn't just me that was buying it. That's why I stock up well in advance of the actual cucumber season. If I wait until I need it, the stores often don't have it in stock.

Now, admit it, making pickles was easy, wasn't it? I am so addicted to canning, and I only do a few simple things--but the things that I do can, I can in huge quantities. I think I'd be a canner even if I wasn't a gardener. although I prefer to can with food fresh from the garden.

With some things that I cannot grow easily here (blueberries are an example since I have very alkaline soil and water), I buy them in bulk at Sam's or CostCo so I am able to can the stuff I cannot grow. It isn't truly summertime here until we've canned Blueberry-Lime Jam and Plum Jelly, even if we have to buy the fruit in order to do it.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 3:58PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Hey dawn. Yes they were super easy. My only problem is i dont have any more cucumbers. Haha. The plants are still producing so maybe in a few weeks. I really like bread and butter so that will be next.

I did use the Mrs wages and i think i will go get a few more packs before they are gone for the year.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:29PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

That probably is a great idea. Right now, in the stores where we shop, the Mrs. Wages mixes are sold out about half the time. It is just hit-or-miss and you never know if you'll find what you want on the store shelves or not. Some years I just order a bunch through their website in advance of the harvest/canning season. Having mentioned their website, I'll link it. They have a lot of items on the website that I've never seen in stores.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mrs Wages Website

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:28PM
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Congrats, Mark. That is just awesome.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:41AM
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Skie_M(Zone 7 (Southwestern Oklahoma)

Perhaps you and your daughter might enjoy other varieties of pickle?

Open one (or more) of those jars and pour out 1/3 of the juice (reserve it) ... add 1 cup of sugar and some spices (black pepper, some sliced onion and onion powder, garlic powder, hot peppers), and later you can enjoy a spicy SWEET pickle mix.

Adding some carrot chunks and large sliced jalapenos or green peppers works too! :) Once all the extra stuff is added in, top off with the reserved pickling juice and shake well, then store with the rest!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:47AM
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*scribbles notes* Thanks, Skie!!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 1:55AM
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Another one sucked in...
I love it. I cant imagine why more people don't can. The best part is sharing what I have canned.. or maybe the popping and pinging lids.. well the smell to gets me too
my little project Friday. I wanted to have a nice housewarming gift and some for my kids too

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:32PM
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I was so excited to see your picture of pickles as I am patiently waiting for enough cucumbers to pickle I forgot to say how great they look. Great job and welcome

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:37PM
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