Beer pickles are an excuse to drink beer at 10 am.
Canning at 8:30 am isn’t exactly how I’d planned out my Saturday morning, but Tamre Mullins and I needed to buckle down and produce 15 half-pints of beer pickles for our canning workshop on Saturday, June 23. Instead of splitting the workload in half and doing it at our own houses separately, we decided to meet up at Tamara’s house to do it all at once (also because she has a larger kitchen than my little blue cove).
I can food because I enjoy the process, not because I believe there’s an impending apocalyptic/zombie doom. At one point in time people canned food because fresh fruits and vegetables weren’t available year round. The fact that you can go to Kroger and pick up a tomato in the middle of the Indiana winter isn’t exactly “fresh” or constituting an “available” fruit, but you get the gist of my point.
All in all, the whole reason why I enjoy being in the kitchen is that cooking is a process that I can follow and alter by my own choice. I very much enjoy following a recipe and then figuring out how to make it ten times better. Canning is definitely a lengthy process and one that I love tackling.
Back to pickles: we adapted our recipe from this one, the only one I could find online when googling “beer pickles.” Recently, the WSJ posted articles about how Dogfish Head brewery started making their own pickles. Cheaters. We totally did this FIRST, damn it. Well, not really but I can pretend.
The best thing about this recipe is that they are sweet, tart and leave your taste buds with a nice kick from the red pepper flakes. Today’s pickles were made with Sun King Brewing Company’s Osiris Pale Ale, a nice hoppy beer that leaves a lot of flavors for the cukes to marinate in.
I’m not going into the whole canning process in this post – I want all Indy folks to see the pictures and go “ooh la la” and then sign up for the canning class next weekend. Eventually, I’ll post some canning process blogs so you can understand how it works and what all you need to know. Give me a break I just spent 4 hours canning food.
We had vinegar left so we decided to bust out the aesthetically pleasing pint and a half jars to can dilly beans, a recipe adapted from Tart and Sweet. They turned out amazing. Can’t wait to bust open a jar and give them a try.
Canning isn’t something I do every week or even every month. I reserve canning for times when I have fruit or veggies that need to be eaten or utilized before they spoil, or because I’ve got the time and desire to tackle another process in the kitchen. You do have to wait a few weeks before you open up a jar of these beans or pickles because you want to give the flavors time to marinate with the vegetables. And who wants to WAIT to eat food? Not this girl. So in the meantime, I’ll go eat some ice cream.
What items are you looking forward to canning this year?