There are 2 things that I’m super excited about today.
1. We are officially just one week away from the start of college football. I cannot even take it. I’ve been watching random youtube video recaps of our games last year, scouring ESPN for information, and last night (just to prove how football-deprived I am), I ended up watching a show on ESPN that was all about Ohio State training days. Just because I need football.
and 2. I made pickles!
For some reason, making pickles was way more intimidating to me than anything else I’ve canned so far. I don’t know why I thought it would be such a big project because it was really easy and most of the time you need is hands-off time, waiting for the zucchini while it’s sitting under ice.
I’d been putting off making zucchini pickles for the past couple of weeks, but after picking 7 zucchini in one day last week when we already had 7 sitting on our porch….it was time. I needed a recipe that would use a good chunk of them at one time.
So at 9 pm this past Sunday, I was finally canning some zucchini pickles.
Welcome back to late night canning season. I had a bit of a break after the green beans, but our tomatoes are coming in like crazy…so our kitchen will officially be a mess for at least the next few weeks.
At least these weren’t nearly as messy as jam or tomatoes – the zucchini just get sliced, tossed with salt, and covered with ice for a few hours. Then you pack them into jars, pour the hot pickling liquid over the top, and put them in the canner. Easy! No blanching or peeling or straining seeds or anything.
This is officially my new favorite way to use up a ton of zucchini at one time. My burgers will thank me this winter, I’m sure.
Spicy Zucchini Pickles
Makes: 6 pints
- 4 pounds small to medium zucchini
- 2 Tbsp pickling/canning salt
- ice cubes
- 4 cups vinegar
- 1 and 2/3 cups water
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 6 tsp pickling spice mix
- Wash the zucchini, cut off the stem and flower end and slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick slices.
- Lay the sliced zucchini in a large, non-metal bowl. Toss the slices with the salt.
- Cover the zucchini with 2 inches of ice and let the zucchini sit for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, get rid of any remaining ice and drain the zucchini for at least 10 minutes.
- While the zucchini is draining, get your jars ready (sanitize in the dishwasher, wash and keep warm with hot water, or heat in the canner).
- In a large pot, mix the vinegar, water, sugar, and crushed red pepper together. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and keep the mixture warm, simmering.
- Pack the zucchini slices into the jars, add 1 tsp of the pickling spice mixture to each jar, and add the vinegar mixture to each jar, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.
- Wipe the jar rims off, add the lid, tighten on the ring, and place in a boiling water canner. Process for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the canner and let them sit for 12-24 hours.