See, I grew up in my German grandmother's home. She was very traditional in a lot of ways, and definitely a product of having grown up during the Depression. There was lots of old-fashioned German cooking, and baking, and oh yes canning.
I continued the baking tradition when I got into adulthood. I love to bake so very much, though these days, I have to limit myself to holidays or occasions for other people where the stuff isn't around my house. But the canning...well, I always *said* I was going to try it someday but in the end, convenience always won out.
One of the things about our new house is that we finally had a chance to start gardening. I do not have a green thumb. At all. Flowers die in my house so fast we have funerals for them on the way bringing them home. But Craig likes it, and the kids *love* it, so I made the concession with the new house to do a vegetable garden. When I get something out of it like food, it's a lot easier for me to invest in it, lol.
We did pretty well our first year. We have three raised beds, each 3'x10', and almost everything thrived. We had peas, beets, and carrots in one; roma and cherry tomatoes, basil, thyme, rosemary, and cilantro in another; and peppers and watermelons in the third. Everything got used. Well, almost everything.
Craig planted a jalapeno bush. He's the only one who eats them. But wouldn't you know it, that bush went nuts. I gave a lot away, but we were still left with a ton. So we decided to pickle the rest rather than see them go to waste.
That's what we did tonight...
I don't know how many pounds we had, but it was a lot. I took care of chopping them all, while Craig handled the sterilizing and brine.
That's only half of them. We ended up with a dozen jars.
I have a feeling I didn't pack the jalapenos enough, but oh well, I'm not eating them. Craig's going to try some in a few weeks, and as long as he doesn't die from botulism, we'll be giving some of the others away to friends.
I tried getting a picture of Craig, but he kept being silly:
I'm not sure what Grandma Pete would think. She took her canning very seriously, not to mention she never touched jalapenos (only because I grew up in the middle of farm country in Michigan; if they had been common, and there had been a category for it at the State Fair, she would've been all over it). This is a woman who used to pit her cherries with a hair pin and then put them in one at a time with a knitting needle to make the jars uniform. Needless to say, she almost always got the best of category when she entered in the fair. :)
Still, I'd like to believe she'd be proud of me for continuing at least some of the traditions. I'm feeling empowered by my first canning experience. I'm not sure I'm ready for real pickles or jams or anything, but hey, if I don't kill anybody with this time around, who's to say what will happen? :)