08/12/021 Harvest Time   2 comments

Needless to say we here in New England love the Fall. It’s harvest time for most crops but especially cucumbers which we wait for all year. This is pickle season for those of us who love hot pickles. I don’t mean just spicy hot, I mean hot enough to make your head sweat. My better half and I make pickles every year at this time because the demand for them is high with friends and family. Our time yesterday was spent making 15 pints of hot Bread & Butter pickles and 9 additional pints of smoking hot dill pickles. These pickles are made with our family recipes but we add the additional heat. We add a mixture of sliced jalapenos, serranoes, and my all time favorite, habaneros. Here’s how we get started.

Our preparation actually starts the night before with the slicing of many cucumbers. My better half usually handles that chore because she cuts a much more uniform slice than I do. She also handles slicing the hot peppers because in past years I’ve almost blinded myself by putting my bare hands near my eyes after forgetting to wear gloves.

First we get our lids, rims, and jars sterilized in boiling water. Then we mix a concoction of herbs and spices to make what we call the syrup that will do the actual pickling. We also add three large bottles of jalapeno vinegar which I made earlier this Spring. Just a friendly tip if you’re going to make hot pickles . . . wear thick rubber gloves. Not those flimsy latex gloves because the oils from the hot peppers migrate right through the latex. Once it gets on your bare hands you’re in trouble.

It’s really not a difficult process once you’ve done it a few times. We completed this entire job in 2 hours minus the preparation done the previous day. When you have a good product people want it which is why we have a long list of folks waiting for these pickles. In a normal year we’ll process 35 to 40 pints of a variety of pickles. Then we can get started with our hot pasta sauces, BBQ sauce, salsa, chili, and wing sauces.

It really is a lot of fun and will keep our family and friends well supplied until Spring. You should give it a try.

2 responses to “08/12/021 Harvest Time

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  1. I was fascinated with this post…not because of the content but because of your ability to go from a George Carlin routine(previous post) to Alton Brown and an episode of Good Eats. Then I realized that maybe they were much different at all! By the way, Alto Brown once said, “A pickle is just a cucumber with experience”. Thought you’d like this! …jb

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