Ever since my blog was featured in Artful Blogging, I have received several e-mails asking me why I haven't had an food-related posts lately. You see, for some reason, the photos that were chosen for the article were almost all foods that I had concocted in my kitchen. In fact, not a single craft project was featured. Odd. Especially considering I supplied the editors with 20+ images that were almost ALL craft projects. I have no control over the images that were chosen, and am sorry for anyone that came here expecting to find a food blog.
That being said, I LOVE to cook... almost as much as I love to craft. And, thanks to many lessons from my dad (who is an insanely good cook) and a few well-loved recipes that have been handed down through my family over the years, I'm actually a pretty good cook. We quite frequently have dinner parties for our friends, and have hosted many a Thanksgiving dinner for my husband's single soldiers. I've even been told from time to time by our "diners" that I should open my own restaurant. Ahhh, yes... if only I could win the lottery.
Instead, I thought I would offer up a few more foodie posts to this blog. Sounds like a fairly good compromise to me... and will hopefully leave a few of you wandering over from Artful Blogging a little more satisfied.
We'll kick it off today with my first experiment in canning. Like many of you, we have planted our "recession garden" here at the Hanks household. There's nothing better than fresh fruits and vegetables from your own garden! So far, we've had the most success with our romaine lettuce, tomatoes and CUCUMBERS. Tons of cucumbers! I couldn't possibly consume all of these cucumbers before they went bad. So what better to do with them than MAKE PICKLES?!?
First thing's first. Pick up this book:
Seriously. It's invaluable. Especially if you know nothing about canning (which I didn't). Second, you need one of these:
Okay. You don't *NEED* one of these. You can achieve the same thing with a large soup pot. But, there are some canning recipes that do require a pressure cooker. So, it can come in handy if you want to get really into this whole process. I got mine at WalMart for about $65, and it works great.
Don't fool yourself into thinking you don't need a set of canning utensils:
I got this exact set at WalMart for under $7. It comes with a magnetic lid lifter, canning tongs (invaluable), bubble remover, and wide-mouthed canning funnel. These all came in really handy, and well-worth the price.
Of course, you'll need canning jars... also available at WalMart or some grocery stores. For these pickles, I used pint-sized jars:
Check back tomorrow for the trials and tribulations on my actual pickle-making process!