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We share a lot of our favorite recipes with you to try at home in your kitchen or outside on your grill. Sharing recipes with you is one of my favorite things to do. Unfortunately, recipes don’t always turn out the way I hope. I like to keep it real here in The Mountain Kitchen, by sharing everything; even recipe fails. I hope by sharing our fails that it will keep you from making the same mistakes. Who knows, you may be having difficulty with the same things. If you are in the same kitchen boat, you need a laugh and we’re here to help. Yep, we’re like good ol Clint Eastwood up in here: The good… the bad… and even the ugly. Today I’m sharing with you these Squishy Dill Pickles; not that you or Clint Eastwood would really want one (sigh).
Earlier in the summer, I shared with you the recipe I used to make Sweet Southern Cucumber Lime Pickles. The sweet pickles turned out so well, that I decided to try my hand at making Kosher dill pickles. I joined a group on Facebook for Canning & Preserving. The members of this group are so inspiring. I decided to reach out to the group members to see if anyone had a successful recipe they wanted to share for dill pickles. I like to compare the perfect dill pickles those made by Mt. Olive. David and I are both very fond of eating their sea salt variety when eating a sandwich of any kind. The feedback I received most recommended that I use the Mrs. Wages Kosher Dill Pickle Mix. I was pleased with this recommendation because the sweet pickles was a recipe used from Mrs. Wages also and they turned out so well. I went to the farmers’ market bought 11 pounds worth of pickling cucumbers and then to the store, to by the dill pickle mix and the quart size jars.
I followed the directions written on the bag of dill pickle mix and canned my heart out and got 7 quarts of perfectly sealed Kosher Dill Pickles. After 24 hours, I placed a jar in the fridge and waited for another 24-hours until they were truly cold to try these delicious looking pickles. I unscrewed the ring, popped the sealed lid from the jar, grabbed a fork and pierced the first pickle it made contact with; pulled it out of the jar and placed into my mouth and took the first bite. Instead of a nice crunchy sounded crisp bite, it was more like biting into a banana.
The only crunch being near the skin of the spear.
I thought well maybe it was just that one. Reached into the jar with my fork, pierced another pickle, pulled it out of the jar, placed it into my mouth and took a bite of that pickle spear.
Squish! Squish! Squish!
Ugh!!!! Squishy Dill Pickles!
All that money wasted on cucumbers, mix and jars for squishy dill pickles! I haven’t opened up all of the jars to see if they are the same, but I am pretty sure they are. The flavor is very good, but I prefer a crunchy firm pickle. I am doubtful anyone would want squishy pickles like these.
After licking my wounds and pride, I reached out to Mrs. Wages to ask why this may have happened. This is the response I received:
“There are many reasons pickles become soft. The use of overripe cucumbers, not using a pickling cucumber, failure to remove the blossom end of the cucumber, inaccurate vinegar and water measurements and over-processing can contribute to soft pickles. We also suggest Mrs. Wages® Xtra Crunch. It is added to your jar of pickles to enhance the crispness of home canned pickles. Please visit our web-site for more information on canning solutions or click here.”
It’ll probably take me until next summer to build up the courage to try these kosher dill pickles again. As far as the spears are concerned I guess I’ll stick to eating Mt. Olive pickles until then. However, there was one positive thing that came from this pickle making experience. As an experiment, I canned a jar of dill pickle slices (like you would put on burgers and sandwiches) to see how they would do. I opened the slices and tried them recently on a home-cooked cheeseburger. The sliced kosher dill pickles can be tolerated because, on a burger or sandwich, you really don’t notice the texture; you just want the flavor. One positive did come out of this experience.
Have you ever made Dill Pickles and canned them successfully? I’d love to hear about your experiences. I sure hope they were better than my squishy dill pickles.
A special thanks to Kent Precision Foods Group for attempting to answer my question.
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