Now that my cucumbers are coming in droves,I have been busy canning. To date I have made 12 pints of bread and butter pickles,and 6 1/2 pints of sweet pickle relish. More pickles and relish are to follow,I am sure. I want to make sure we have enough to share with family,and to have for ourselves for the rest of the year.Maybe next year I will have enough to sell by the road for a little pocket money.However,providing for us comes first.
I spent three days in a row canning,and I must admit that I am getting more comfortable with it. Anything new can be a bit overwhelming,and since I have only one canning attempt under my belt,which was not successful,you can imagine I was a bit tentative. But each batch got easier. The timing of the getting the canning water the right temp,the water to boil the jar and lids to 180 degrees,and getting the spices and produce ready took a couple of tries. At first,I stared the water way too early and too low a temp. The third time I had the heat on high,and when the temp neared 180 degrees,I lowered the temperature on the burner. I suppose it's like anything else,practice makes perfect! Of course,we have to let these sit for 4-6 weeks;they were not brined,they were fresh packed. The pickle cukes and onions sat in salt and ice for 1 1/2 hours;
for the relish the cukes,onions,green and red peppers sat in salt and cold water for 2 hours. I am going to make some strawberry jam next. Since we just planted our strawberries this year,our harvest has been a strawberry here and there,so I had to buy them this morning.
One thing I have noticed is my batches never come out with as many jars as they say it's going to take. My relish was suppose to make( 8) 1/2 pints;I had 6. The pickles 7 pints;each time I came out with 6. My Dear Friend Michelle says that that happens to her as well,so I don't feel that bad!
Today I am making another batch of laundry soap;I have finally used up my Fels Naptha soap. I bought all my ingredients either late last summer or Fall. The two bars of Fels Naptha lasted that long! Such a savings. I also need to make more hand soap. I would love to find a recipe for dish detergent;I have only found dishwasher recipes,and since I don't have a dishwasher,that won't work. Anyone out there have a good dish soap recipe?