After doing some reading as well as talking to some of my chef friends, I made an adjustment to my pickled peaches recipe in that I cut the processing time by half to 10 minutes for a pint. Most pickle recipes have a 10 minute processing time, some as short as 5 minutes. In reading every pickled peach recipe I have been able to track down, I’ve seen a wide range of processing times. In comparing them all, I looked at the amount of vinegar used. I found recipes similar to mine had a shorter processing time, so I tried it out. The resulting pickles have been much firmer, as you can see in the pie I made with them.
I made a note on the original recipe page. At first I hesitated to mention it here, I’ve not had this recipe tested and I had some troubles with getting seals on all my jars. However, getting good seals on jars has been an ongoing issue this year, with almost every batch of anything I’ve done since June having at least one bad seal. I’m absolutely flummoxed as to why. Quite frankly, it made me question my canning skills at one point. Thankfully I had a batch of pickled okra Saturday that properly sealed, so I’m feeling my mojo again.
In other canning news, I read where Linda had issues with soft cucumbers this year. I wonder if that was why my brined cucumber pickles did so poorly. I suddenly feel much better about that whole pickle fail.
It’s been such a cool, damp summer that some vegetables have just not been doing well – like okra. I finally managed to gather enough okra this past weekend to pickle a small batch (7 half-pints) but it was sort of like pulling teeth to get enough. My go-to guy for tomatoes told me he’s seen more customers asking about canning tomatoes this year and he is having a hard time keeping up with the supply. I actually had to reserve my tomatoes in advance recently, given the weather and the demand. There’s also been a basil blight going around this year and I’ve realized that’s what’s going on with my plants. It’s a bummer, but it’s nice to know it’s not me. After all, what sort of person can’t grow basil? Me apparently. Only it’s not me. Thank goodness.