My Pickling and Canning Experiment

September 16, 2009 at 10:07 am

I have a pickling and canning phobia. There it is out in the open. Maybe its the idea that I could make myself and loved ones deathly ill with one wrong move in the process or the necessary steps you must follow including proper measurements and heating procedures. There are reasons I don’t bake – too many exact measurements and steps to follow.

While I do have this phobia, I hunger to have my own special mix of tangy, crisp veggies to add as a garnish to my bloody mary or top my hot dog Superdawg-style with a pickled green tomato. Like most things if I want something enough, fear or not, I still make the effort to forge forward do or die (err, maybe wrong word for a project that could lead to botulism).

I have recently received a few good pickling recipes for friends and acquaintances and hope to try those out next round. For this experiment, I reviewed several food Web sites for recipes (including Local Beet) and settled on trying quick pickling. From what I can tell this is the safest route possible and has close to immediate results to test my work. I’ll use plenty of vinegar and keep the jars in the fridge as an extra layer of preservation.

My subjects are green and yellow beans and green tomatoes. I am using a few items I have on hand to spice up the mix including garlic, jalapenos, ground mustard, celery salt, whole black pepper and crush red pepper. Each jar received some combination of these spices but not necessarily all together.

My subjects and ingredients for my pickling experiment.

My subjects and ingredients for my pickling experiment.

My pickling liquid was equal parts water and white vinegar and a 1/3-cup of kosher salt.

I can already tell there are likely a few things I did wrong. One of my jars is not entirely packed tight with beans making the process of closing the lid a bit more challenging. And there were obviously air bubbles still floating in a jar so I must try to eliminate that problem.

Pickling away...I hope.

Pickling away...I hope.

My pickling specimens will marinate in my fridge for the next few days then I will test the results while my thumb is hovering over speed dial for 911.

So stay tuned and in the meantime, any tips for getting over my pickling and canning phobia?



  1. Denise says:

    A long time ago I took the Master Food Preserver training from the UIC extension service. It was excellent, hands-on training.

  2. Judy Mendel says:

    Check out The Talking Farm’s Pickling and Relishes Class on October 7, 2009 in Evanston. Go to our website for more information or register at

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