Canning – It’s A Father-Daughter Thing.

I love my dad.  More than words can truly express.  While I was living in California I only had the opportunity to see my dad once a year, sometimes two. Which to be honest, sucked.  My dad and I have a very interesting father-daughter relationship, he is more like one of my best friends.  I tell him pretty much everything.  We share a lot of the same interests (these are not forced in any way, these are genuine interests we share): fishing, fly fishing, cooking, photography, canning, gardening, fly tying, guns/shooting, knives, and so much more. I love fishing with my dad, especially fly fishing.

Dad with is catch on the fly rod

Me with my first catch on a fly rod

Me and Dad at Point Lobos, Carmel, CA

My dad and I were even featured on a chartered fishing boat’s website and their add in a well-known fishing magazine (I still have a copy of it).  We have even taken different courses together, one of which was a black and white photography course at our local art museum.  One of the best things we have ever done together – so much fun hanging out together.  Another “course” we took together was a fly tying course with the New England Fly Tyers.  Mind you I was the only “young” female there but I had the best time.  Each year they do a good-sized auction/raffle to help raise money and I won the grand prize of a fly tying kit with all the goodies.  I just found the kit in my boxes up out attic so that will be taken down soon so I can start tying some flies.

Another thing that makes my heart very happy is the relationship that Bryan and my dad have.  They also share a lot of interests, so they spend a bit of time together.  Dad has also gotten Bryan into a bit of fly fishing!  (I’m so excited about this) Dad took him fishing a few weekends back and Bryan caught three small fish.

Dad teaching Bry how to cast a fly rod. My two favorite men.

So since moving back dad and I have been catching up on our father-daughter time.  Over the last year we have been talking about trying out hands at some canning.  Even though it took us a year we finally did it!

Last weekend dad came down and we decided to can some refrigerator pickles and dilly beans (dill green beans). It may have been my fist time at this, but I have to say these came out pretty darn good. Now I’m a bit addicted to canning – been thinking of a million and one things I want to can next.  The refrigerator pickle recipe came from Backwoodsman Magazine (July/August 2011) - sadly though the recipe is not on their website but I have listed it below.  The recipe for the dilly green beans came from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving – again, this recipe is not on their website but it is also included below.  FYI if you don’t have this book and are interested in starting to can, I would pick this up and try a few recipes.

We of course had a few changes to the recipes – so below are my adaptations of them.

PLEASE be sure to read the links below to learn how to properly sanitize your jars and lids!!

Canning 101 – Simple Bites

How to Can – Ball/Fresh Preserving

Resources – Canning Across America

Refrigerator Pickles

10-12 Large Cucumbers (Washed)

3 Cups White Vinegar

11 Cups of Water (divided)

1 Cup Coarse Salt

1/2 Cup Sugar

2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic

1/4 Teaspoon Pickle Crisp (per Quart jar)

Several Springs of Fresh Dill (or 2 Teaspoons of dried dill) – this all depends on how dilly you like them

Hot Pepper – Optional

4 Quart Mason Jars

  • Prepare canner, jars and lids (see links above)
  • In a gallon pitcher mix together the 3 cups of vinegar, 8 cups of water, 1 cup of coarse salt, and 1/2 cup of sugar.  Stir until dissolved and set aside.
  • Wash cucumbers and cut either into spears (which we did) or rounds.
  • In the bottom of the jars add 1 Thai Chili Pepper (IF you are using them, cut in half), a few sprigs of fresh dill, and a bit of garlic in each.  (You will repeat all of this once the cucumbers are in the jars and the pickling brine has been added.)
  • Add the cucumbers to the jars – you will be surprised how many spears you can fit into each jar, however don’t over stuff them, you still need to add the brine and rest of the dill, garlic, and peppers.
  • Fill the jars with the brine until you have about a generous 1 inch remaining. Add the remainder of the garlic, dill, and peppers (IF you are using them) to each of the jars.  Top off the jars with the remaining water (you probably won’t use all of it!).  Cover the jars with lids. Screw band down until resistance is met then increase to fingertip-tight.
  • Shake each jar for one minute.  Place in a cool/dark place for 24 hours (NOT the refrigerator) then refrigerate until gone – Enjoy!!

Dilled Beans

6 Tablespoons Pickling or Canning Salt

6 Cups White Vinegar

6 Cups Water

4 1/2 Cups Green Beans, trimmed

18 Whole Black Peppercorns

12 Sprigs of Fresh Dill

12 Cloves of Garlic

12 Thai Chili Peppers – cut in half

6 Quart Mason Jars

  • Prepare canner, jars and lids (see links above)
  • In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine salt, vinegar, and water.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve salt.  Add green beans.  Return to a boil. Remove from heat.
  • Place 3 peppercorns, 2 springs of dill and 2 cloves of garlic, and two Thai chili peppers (that have been cut in half) in each hot jar.  Pack beans into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of top of jar.  Ladle hot pickling liquid into jar to cover beans and peppers, leaving 12 inch head-space.  Remove air bubbles and adjust head-space, if necessary, by adding more hot pickling liquid.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar, Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  • Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes.  Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

We’ve tried both of these creations of ours and they are super delicious.  You should probably adjust these seasons to your flavor likings.  We love garlic, dill and a bit of heat. There are so many more things you can can – vegetables, fruit, stews, and tomatoes.  Check out some of these websites and books for more ideas:

Canning 101 – Simple Bites

How to Can – Ball/Fresh Preserving

Resources – Canning Across America

Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It

The Pioneer Woman

Backwoods Home Magazine

Martha Stewart

Food in Jars

The Joy of Pickling

Punk Domestics

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my father-daughter time??My dad is pretty awesome and I’m so happy to be living near him again.

On my list of things to can is definitely some apple sauce and horseradish. What is on your list? Happy Canning!

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