I have had a really hard week at work. It’s wedding season and our new hire quit. Really, despite the time it costs me, it’s a very good thing. We’re all glad she’s gone. However, since she quit, I’ve had to work on one of my days off. So YAY for cramming all my ToDo into one day.
Josh bought some cucumbers from the farmer’s market since ours aren’t ready yet. He’s going to surprise me with a new thing to can every week. We’re both stoked about it. I got my new book, Put ’em Up, and proceeded to tab almost every recipe (I skipped the cantaloupe and mushrooms, ’cause ew.)
Since he brought me cucumbers, I flipped to the cucumber section (the book is organized by produce! BRILLIANT.) and realized immediately that there was no question. Bread and Butter Pickles it would be.
First, admire your produce.
It’s really gorgeous and from a wonderful local farm. Cut up your cucumbers and onions according to the recipe. I like thick coins, so I sliced mine a bit larger. Layer them with half a cup of salt in a bowl, then top with ice. Let it sit for two hours.
Wait. TWO HOURS? Uuuuuuuughhh. What am I going to do with TWO WHOLE HOURS while I wait for the freakin’ cucumbers to be done? Well, I mixed up my vinegar, water, sugar, salt, turmeric, pepper, mustard and celery seed. Okay. One hour fifty-nine minutes to go.
Well, my best friend’s birthday is also today. Alright! Let’s make a cake.
Cool. That took about 10 minutes to throw together and now it’s in the oven.
Now that I’ve used a bottle of white vinegar, I can make my fabric softener and pour it back into the neat bottles. I found the glass bottles of vinegar on sale at Grocery Outlet so I bought a bunch because I just really like the way they look. Having my fabric softener in a mason jar wasn’t really the most tidy way of dispensing it either. So, BAM. Fabric softener made!
I had a little left over that didn’t fit in the bottles, so I did a load of laundry. Go me! I’m so productive. Oh. I should do dishes since I just made cake, pickles and fabric softener. UGH. FINE. Dishes accomplished.
Okay, now that that’s out-of-the-way, I realize that I feel really crowded in my kitchen. I notice that I have yet to find a place to store my jars for canning. OkeeeDokee. Off to organize the pantry! I keep it relatively organized to begin with but I hadn’t tidied up in a bit and I moved some non-essential boxes to the harder to reach lower shelves. Now there’s plenty of room to fill the pantry with LOTS of canned goods and I have spots for the unused jars too.
At this point, C.J. was about done with my forgetting to feed her, so she gave me her very best “FEED ME BECAUSE I’M CUTE” face. Forgive the dirty floor, sweeping is done last cause I’m messy.
So now, we’re at a point that the cakes are almost done, the pickles have a way to go, but I decide to sterilize my jars, or at least start the process.
Go ahead and make fun of my tiny stove. I make it work. So while that’s going, I look for my cake decorating and canning boxes. I have an obsession with the black organizer boxes since I put all my art supplies in them two years ago. I can always find things, I don’t end up with a junk drawer, and its tidy looking. Plus, with my love of color, it’s a nice way to put a neutral in the space. The problem is that I bought the boxes, filled them, and then didn’t label them because I’d have to cause a bit of a ruckus with my tv since its sitting on the box with my labels in it. So, next best thing? Stopgap! Post it notes and marker. I labeled my boxes so I don’t have to open every single one.
The bottom one is my canning box. Let’s get the countertop ready. I filled in the labels, laid down a kitchen towel and pulled out the tools I need. Also, this all looks very cute together. I planned this (I didn’t plan this).
I still have a bit of time to kill so I remembered that I’ve had this soap dispenser project that I wanted to do, so out came the mason jar, soap pump and power drill. C.J. found this stressful and hid in the bathroom. She was pleased, though, that it turned out so well. She’s generous that way. Oh, I also had to buy new spices for the pickles, so I had to make new labeled jars. So I’ve been painting the chalkboard paint on every so often.
Okay! Time to get to work. Boil the brine for the pickles, drain your cucumbers and rinse them well. Pour vegetables into the brine, bring to a boil. Ladle into jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headroom and wipe the rims with white vinegar. Apologies for the blurry picture.
Cap them and then put them in your water bath. They process for 10 minutes and rest for 5.
I made a banana cake for Lori, and was trying to make cream cheese icing for it. The cheese was previously frozen though and I think that affects it greatly. I’m dismayed by the somewhat grainy texture of my frosting. It may just have to be regular buttercream icing, since I have that sitting around.
Pulling the cans out of the waterbath is neat. Almost immediately, they started pinging. So, that’s all done. I just have to wipe them down, label them and then share them with my friends and coworkers who have NEVER HAD BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES. I assume that’s because no one loved them when they were children. Poor souls.
Anywho. I need to get the clothes in the dryer, and build a cake. Oh, and shower.