It was a busy weekend in the Donahue household. I have lots of posts for you this week just catching up from the weekend. I tried my hand at pickling again sans apron though and this time I meant business. Inspiration struck when a visit to the local Asian Market revealed freshly harvest pickling cucumbers. They were so fresh that they still had dirt all over them. I couldn't help but buy 5lbs of them. I was a little more confident in my endeavour this time around and I believe the results were more favorable. My last attempt reveled what I had feared. While the pickles tasted like pickles they seem to have been over processed since it took so darn long to get the water to boil in that pot. The pickles from that go around were very dark and soft. This time them seem to have maintained there brilliant green color. Also, I used two separate, shallower stock pots for this session. As you can see it was a crowded stove top. Since I did not have racks for those pots, I created makeshift ones out of the screw lids and zip ties. They seem to have worked great. Since there were more pickles to work with this time I decided to mix up the ingredients in the jars. William Sonoma came out with their new line of dried spices and I bought Cardamom, Black Mustard and Cloves to throw in. I also added some habanero and chili peppers from the garden to a couple and can't wait to see how those turn out. Taking my own advice from the first time I decided to pre-sanitize all of the jars and lids and made sure I had all of the ingredients prepped and ready. Overall this was a much better experience. Guess that's true of everything the more you do it. The second time around it was cleaner and quicker and I got to me a little more creative since I wasn't as nervous about the process. Meanwhile I made a trip to Sur La Table and was able to find a real canning pot. It was $50.00, so I made no purchase this time around but maybe soon!