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Farmer’s Market Recap and Pickle Unveiling

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July 30, 2011 by Sara Kreidler

A few things managed to follow us home from the farmer’s market this morning.

Blueberries.

Strawberries.

Green beans.  We brought home a batch of green beans last weekend to make refrigerator dilly beans, but for the first and only time in my experience (and I’ve made and scarfed down about a dozen jars in the last 2 months), they didn’t turn out well.  I think the beans were too old when they were picked and had become tough.  Oh well, sometimes you get some bad beans.  I’ll turn these guys, which seem younger and more tender, into refrigerator dilly beans tomorrow.

Baby portabella mushrooms which Toby sauteed and we piled on to enormous swiss, bacon and mushroom burgers for lunch (the beef and bacon came from the farmer’s market too; we cannot say enough wonderful things about the J.L Kennedy Meat Stand from which we purchase nearly all of our beef, poultry and pork).

Freshly baked burger buns.

Carrots for the kids to munch on.

And big basket of super-juicy peaches.  We don’t get a ton of fruit from our CSA (although we can’t complain because the veggies we get are amazing and keep us very happy), so we’re lucky to be able to supplement our CSA box with fruit from the farmer’s market.

We also snagged some raw milk (Owen’s favorite) and Swiss cheese (for the aforementioned burgers), as well as my weekly ration of locally made cheese curds.

You may recall that two weeks ago we brought home a ton of pickling cucumbers and green beans from the farmer’s market and held our first canning session of the season, yielding 12 pints of dilly beans and 7 quarts of pickles.

Today, after a long 2 week wait, we cracked open a jar of each.

We unanimously agreed that the dilly beans were a success.  Not as crunchy as my raw packed refrigerator dilly beans, but still crisp and the right mix of salty-spicy-dilly-garlicy awesomeness.  We’ll be making more of these for winter to be sure.

The dill pickles were a bit of a mixed bag.  The first pickle out of the jar was decidedly NOT crisp, and we were sad.  The second pickle was MUCH better — again, not as crisp as a refrigerator pickle, but it still had a nice, crunchy bite.  The third pickle was somewhere in between.  The flavor of the pickles was great, but we need to perfect our method of canning these guys — Toby’s dad suggested icing the cucumbers before canning next time, and Marisa at Food In Jars suggested that we shouldn’t put the filled jars into the canner until it is at a full boil (as opposed to putting the jars in when the water is hot, but not yet boiling, and then bringing it to a boil and starting the timer for 10 minutes, which is what we did) so as to reduce the time the pickles spend in the canner.

In further canning news, we received a huge bag of cucumbers from Toby’s parents this weekend and a head of cabbage, which brings us to a total of 3 heads of cabbage in our crisper at the moment.  In addition to making a few pints of refrigerator dilly beans tomorrow, we’re planning to pickle and can the cucumbers and try out the Food In Jars recipe for sauerkraut.  Stayed tuned for posts on those canning adventures later this week!

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