Thursday, September 3, 2009

How many pickles can Pie pickle if Pie.......

THAT is the question, isn't it??? How many pickled peppers could Pie pickle if Pie were pickling peppers?????
Inspired by other bloggers who have been busy canning and pickling and putting up for the winter, I have had a great desire to do the same. To follow in the footsteps of my foremothers and put up food for the winter months.

Of course, my foremothers always had a honkin' big garden to harvest -- that's where all that food comes from you know. I know this, because I have spent many a sweltering summer day, either picking veggies from the garden ("in the cool of the day" HA -- exactly when, I ask you, is the "cool of the day" in August in Texas???) OR in a steamy kitchen, with NO a/c, dripping with humidity as pots boiled on the stovetop, readying produce for the jars. Pretty much hated it when I was 9 and 12 and 15 yrs. old --- would love to go back there right this very minute, for just a day or two, and pay a little more attention this time. :)

We tried a garden this year after years of disappointment. And boy, did it look pretty. We ate some squash, some Swiss chard and a handful of tomatoes and cucumbers....but it just didn't produce enough to "put up". Summer in Texas is no picnic. Ever! But THIS summer was fit for neither man nor beast nor as it turned out ...our garden. What's a girl with a need to "put up" food for her household to do?????

Take a little trip to my local Wal-mart, that's what! And there I spied the most beautiful dark green jalapenos that were just crying out to be pickled and canned. I haven't canned anything in a very long time. Let me just say that right up front. The methods you will see and hear about here are my very own and my aforementioned foremothers would be skeptical, embarassed, mortified and might even disavow any knowledge of me or my methods.

Here's the breakdown of my pickling success --- jalapenos cost 68 cents a lb. and I bought 4 lbs. = $2.72. I had to buy a dozen new jars for this little project, but they will be used and re-used many, many times again, so that cost doesn't really even factor in. However, the cost was $7 a dozen, making the cost of each jar around 60 cents.

I ended up canning 8 pints, so the total cost is $7.52 (including the jars).
These pickled jalapenos will last us at least all winter, spring, summer and maybe next year I'll do it all again. Purchased in the store, the same amount of jalapenos would cost around $28.00 ---- yielding us a savings of roughly $20.50.

NOW ---- I know you must be thinking ----- WOW this girl has slashed her grocery budget by a whopping $20 bucks --- that's some kinda savings.

Well, it definitely is NOT the same kind of savings as if we say, started growing our own chickens. 'Cause I can tell you, that right there, would yield us a HUGE savings. The first (and last) time I had to chase down a chicken to make a little chicken salad......THAT'S when I become a full out vegetarian. And then, we could mark meat off our shopping list all to gether !!!! :)

Soooooo - no, these little jars of jalapenos will only keep us warm this winter when we put them on our nachos. Not a huge deal. BUT, it was a lot of fun canning my own AND it was very satisfying to my soul AND most importantly, don't they look cute ????

Happy Canning to you all --

Gwynie Pie

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  1. Yes, it is very satisfying to do home canning. I haven't done it myself for years. My grandma always made her own dill pickles with cucumbers, dill and garlic from her own garden. You have inspired me to try canning again - maybe a nice jam or cucumber relish. Your jars of jalapenos look great all stacked up for the photo.

  2. Wow, only 60 cents a jar ... that's great! I wish we were able to have a big garden this year. My husband wasn't able to prepare it this year due to health issues, so we opted for a few patio plants. He'll be okay after surgery, so we should be able to do one next year. Hopefully, we'll have enough of a harvest to do some canning.

    Happy canning!