Big Ugly, August 2023

Food Preservation In Full Swing

Here on Big Ugly Creek, the harvest is definitely under way, and so is food preservation. With bountiful
harvests coming in, people are preserving what they can for the upcoming winter months. Some people
prefer to can their harvest, some freeze, some dry, and some use a combination of all three methods,
depending upon what they are trying to preserve. My personal favorite is freezing: a quart size baggie of
diced tomatoes and a snack size baggie of hot pepper rings is just right to add to all those crockpots of
chili I tend to make over the winter.

We have seen quarts and quarts and more quarts of kraut canned, pints of bread & butter pickles, dill
pickles, zucchini pickles, and apple butter, bags of dried beans (both pinto and leather britches), dried
onions and tomatoes, all put up for the coming winter. Green beans have been canned and frozen, as
have peppers, corn, and more. They’ll soon be followed by winter squash, pumpkins, potatoes, and
sweet potatoes being stored in cool, dark places so that they last until the next growing season. There’s
going to be some good eating on the creek this winter!

Here’s a recipe for spicy dill pickles (just leave out the hot pepper if you want to go no-heat:

10 pickling cucumbers
5 c water
3 1/2 c vinegar (apple cider or white, must be 5% acidity)
8 T pickling spice mix
Fresh dill
16 large cloves of garlic
2 T sugar
8 small red hot peppers, whole
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 T pickling salt
8 pint jars with lids

1. Sterilize your mason jars and lids by cleaning well with soap and water, and then placing into a water
bath. Boil 10 minutes. Leave this boiling after you take the jars out.
2.While the jars sterilize, wash and rinse the cucumbers, trim off the ends, and slice into whatever style
you prefer.
3.To each jar, add: 2 cloves garlic, 1 T pickling spice, some fresh dill, and 1 hot pepper.
4.Add in the pickles and onions, packing the jars as tight as you can.
5.Add your water, vinegar, pickling salt and sugar to a pan and heat over medium-high heat, bringing the
mixture to a boil. Stir to make sure the salt and the sugar fully dissolve and don’t stick to the bottom and
6. Using a funnel, pour the brine into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2" of space at the top. Place the seals  on and seal hand tight. Don't do too tight.
7.Return your now filled jars to the hot water bath, making sure the jars are covered by at least 2” of
water. Boil for 15 minutes.
8.when done, remove the jars carefully and place on a towel lined cooling rack.
9.The seals will pop as they lock tight, and should all seal within 24 hours of being canned.
10.Any jars that fail to seal should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 4-6 weeks.
11. Store your canned dill pickles in a pantry or cool dry place for up to 1 year. It’s best to allow the
pickles to sit at least 3 weeks: the longer they sit the better the flavor.