Friday, August 30, 2013

Farm Girl Friday -30 August 2013

Farm Girl Friday

It's a hot and sticky edition of Farm Girl Friday today.  Thermometer says it's only 25C (77F) but is so stinkin' humid!!  It's one of those days when even just hanging up laundry is too much exercise.  

And then I looked at the calendar and realized:

pickles (1000x750)

The pickles I started TWO WEEKS AGO needed to be put into jars and processed.  Let's just say that I wasn't a happy camper when I realized this.  It's not like I didn't already have a million better other things to do, including go visit my friend in Pembroke hospital who's sitting up there waiting for a room and surgery!

Oh well, I persevered and tried not to melt and packed all 8 pint jars.  I only do a small batch because we only eat these at suppers with the whole Fletcher family.  In this house Colin is the only one who likes them and he doesn't eat enough to open a whole jar.  Colin's Mom said the recipe belonged to his Grandma (or older).  We can't remember who the pickle crock belonged to, but that's the official family pickle crock.

pickles 2 (1000x750)

On a slightly cooler note, we went to the barn the other day to see a surprise Daddy had discovered:

chicks (1000x750)
new chicks!  Sorry they are a little blurry, they don't like having their pictures taken.  We think they are mostly Chantecler.

chicks 3 (1000x750)

And we have a box full of banty chicks too.  You can't tell in the picture, but these ones are so tiny.  Couldn't pick one up because Momma hen is ferocious.

chicks 2 (1000x750)

Ella was brave enough to pick up one of the Chantecler chicks.  That hen is much more docile.

Renfrew County Icicle Pickles
(or what to make to prove you really love your family)

2 gallons cucumbers, remove seeds and slice into spears lengthwise -I cut them so they will fit in the jar easily
1 pint (2 cups) coarse salt

Cover with boiling water (DO NOT use an aluminium pot).  Add enough green food colouring to make bright green.  I used the whole bottle you see in the picture.  Cover with lid.  Let stand in a cool place for one week.  Stir every day.

Drain pickles.  Cover with boiling water and add 1 tablespoon alum.  Cover with lid and let stand 24 hours.

Drain pickles.  Combine the following ingredients and heat until sugar is well dissolved.

2 quart (8 cups) white vinegar (not pickling vinegar)
14 cups white sugar
4 tablespoons pickling spice (tie this in a square of cheese cloth to fish out later)

Once this has boiled, pour over pickles.  Cover with lid.

Drain and reheat syrup and pour over pickles every day for 4 more days (see this is why you have to really love your family)

Finally, pack the pickles into sterilized pint jars (500 ml/2 cups).  Fill with syrup and leave 1/2 inch of head space.  Put on lids and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.  Let them cool out of the draft and wait for the lids to go 'ping' -the happy canning music.

I'm also posting this over at Miz Helen's Country Cottage.

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