It's been a busy busy summer...Florida, Vermont, a month teaching with Bridges, wedding engagement, wedding planning, cousins cruise to the Bahamas, and finally, back home to prepare myself for another year of teaching. Of course, that means I need a distraction right? First, I made a plum jam that was so good that Mom said I could give it to her any year for Christmas or birthday and she'd be happy. Then, after checking out Glassy Mountain Chapel, I bought 1/2 bushel of peaches for $22. That turned into about 10 peaches for eating, two gallons of peaches sliced and frozen for future peach pies, and about 8-9 half-pints of peach butter.
Well, that's when Katie informed me of the $5 boxes of tomatoes at Sandy Flats Berry Patch. We drove out to find no ripe tomatoes, but a 1/2 bushel of pickling cucumbers was $6. Well, that's been turned into 9 quarts and 12 pints of pickles. Katie's recipe that started with 4 quarts of brine was responsible for all 9 quarts and 7 pints of those pickles; the other 5 were from a batch of Ball Kosher Dill mix. The key to making your brine go far...pack the cucumbers tightly. This is easier if you pack various cucumber lengths in groups.
My next adventure...tackling the 50 pounds of tomatoes I've got sitting in our utility room. They'll become sauce, whole tomatoes, and diced tomatoes. Well, back to the kitchen!