Recently, a market farmer gave me a whole bag of bell peppers, about 10 in all. Free.
Then, the next week, he told me he had pickles for me. An entire half-bushel of pickling cucumbers, it turns out. I did some rapid calculations involving time, hauling capacity, and dill. He saw the dismayed look on my face and kindly told me to just take what I thought I wanted. Again, free.
I took a bag and canned 10 quarts of dill pickles. I discovered in the process that I didn't have enough apple cider vinegar or dill seed in the house. I screeched out the door to pick up the kids (late) with the kitchen steaming, salty, and littered. I was definitely out of the canning rhythm!
But the pickles look lovely. I experimented with putting some green tea in the pickle brine to see if the tannin keeps the pickles crisp. I used grape leaves for their tannin this past summer and the pickles are remarkably crisp.
|Love this bumper sticker from Marilou, although the canning in this post wasn't with local stuff!|
And next time I went to market, I took a carefully-wrapped jar of pickles to that farmer to say thank you for all the free veggies. We were both pleased.