Next year, we're hoping to launch our grand plans for our summer kitchen (see my Pinterest board for some of my ideas!), but this year, we are getting used to the grill and seeing what it's like to cook and can outside.
|grill box on, pot of boiling water on the available burner|
|now our butter will stay this way all summer|
Last week, I did my first canning project: dill pickles. Inside, I would have heated the jars in the oven. Outside, I heated them in hot water in the canner. I boiled the pickle brine on another burner. I kept the lids and rings hot in my slow cooker. Everything worked beautifully (except that I ran out of salt, vinegar, and garlic mid-project - seems like the first canning project of the season must always be ill-supplied).
|grill box off, three burners available|
This year, I added a grape leaf to each jar; supposedly, the tannic acid in the leaves will help to keep the pickles crisp. I also carefully sliced off each end of the cucumber, which also supposedly makes crips pickles. I'll report back.
I also made a half-gallon of fermented dill pickles following the loose directions in The Art of Fermentation. They are in the fridge now after their 3-day ferment, puckery and crisp, but not vinegary which is what I think of for a pickle. We like them a lot.
Have you thought of setting up a summer kitchen? Do tell!