A couple weeks ago I made pickles for the first time. Forbes Road Produce had a bunch of fresh kirby cucumbers and I was in the mood to do some canning. Why I find making stuff and putting it into jars so rewarding I don't know - probably something only a shrink could answer - but I love looking at the finished product, knowing I made it.
After deciding on the old-fashioned bread-and-butter variety, I referred to recipes from Southern Living and the Web site http://www.pickyourown.org/, and then went to work. Everybody says pickles are easy to make and that it's a fun thing to do with kids. That might be true if the kids are adept with knives, or you have the patience of a saint. There's a lot of chopping involved with bread-and-butter pickles, which require loads of thinly sliced onion and cukes sliced into 3/16-inch rounds.
That was the most time-consuming aspect of this project, other than waiting while the cukes and onions iced down for four hours in the fridge. After that, it was simply a matter of boiling up ingredients and plopping them into sterilized jars.
Now, the real time-consuming part - waiting to open them. The pickyourown people want me to wait four to six weeks! They can't be serious. I can't wait to try them. What if they are terrible? Cucumber season doesn't last forever, and I'll have to make another attempt. I think I'll open them tomorrow...just one jar.