Today the fermentation process is introduced for the first time with a super-easy recipe for making kosher dill refrigerator pickles, we learn how to make pickled beets with a nice cinnamon touch, and I explain how quick and easy it is to put up some jalapeno peppers which you can use for awesome nachos grande year-round.

Along the way I give a Farmer’s Market trip report, give a tip on freezing fresh corn, and provide a reminder on the chance you have to win a case of Ball Heritage blue canning jars.  This is part of Can It Forward Day, coming up on Saturday, August 17th.

I also share a great store of celebrating and sharing the abundance with my firefighter buddies, outline some “Canning 101” podcasts I’m going to post in the next week, and respond to listener feedback and questions.  It’s a great show today and you’re going to like it!

Before You Go …

Click here to give me a rating on iTunes (hopefully positive!) along with a written comment to tell people what you like about the podcast.  You can also send a message to me using the form at “Contact John!” to let me know what you think or to share your own story of celebrating and sharing the abundance.  I sure appreciate it!


The following is the full transcript from today’s episode —

This is the Canning Season podcast with John Gavin, episode #6.  Get out your jars.

Welcome to the Canning Season Podcast.  This is the show that’s dedicated to helping you get the most out of the home canning and food preservation lifestyle.  In this community, it’s all about celebrating and sharing the abundance.  To lead the way, here’s your host, an avid home canner himself, John Gavin.

Wahoo!  That’s what I feel like saying because I’m so happy to be back here.  All right, welcome to episode #6 of the Canning Season Podcast.  Another great week here in the North Woods part of the United States of America, and this week I send out my greetings to those of you in the Southern Hemisphere where it is winter, for many of you, the further South you get.  I see a number of you are now starting to listen to the podcast and I find that interesting.

I suppose that’s a reflection of hope.  

I do think ahead to what will I talk about here in the middle of February when in the Northern Hemisphere, certainly in Minnesota, we’re surrounded by ice and, you know, not a lot of talk of strawberry jams then, so I imagine those of you in the Southern Hemisphere might be listening in for a little bit of inspiration, a little bit of flavor of that wonderful sunshine that we are in fact experiencing right now but unfortunately we’ll be trading positions too soon as far as I’m concerned.

Welcome back.  We have a lot to cover today.  I have to tell you some things about the Canning Forward event coming up in New York next week.  I need to give you a little inducement on this contest I have to win yourself a case of those cool heritage jars, the blue canning jars that Ball produced this year.  I got to can with my goddaughter, Becky, this weekend, and we’ll talk about that and what we did.

We’ll also talk about for the first time on this podcast, fermenting as a style of preservation.  How about that?  Far easier than you could ever imagine!  Let’s just put it this way: that’s what I taught Becky to do this weekend.

I have a great story on celebrating and sharing the abundance.  In fact, that will lead into an important series of shows I’m going to producing for you hopefully over the next week.  Of course, we’ll look at listener email and comments.  With that, let’s talk a little bit about Can-It-Forward.

August 17th is the National Can-It-Forward Day.  

It’s actually put on by the people who make Ball canning jars and I am planning to be in New York City to cover that for you.  It’s an event where they’re really just promoting the idea of canning and passing it on to future generations.  I found a really cool website, by the way, in Australia, talking about celebrating Canning Forward Day and it has some great links in it.

As a matter of fact, as long as I’m thinking about it, I also found a phenomenal resource for you – that I’ll also put a link in the show notes – to a great canning resource up in Alaska, some resources there on home canning.

Here in the lower 48 canning is a hobby.  It’s something we do for fun and pleasure, although a number of people do it to provide for their families and it is important, but up there it’s more than lifestyle.  It’s a necessity in so many ways.  They take their canning very seriously and there’s some phenomenal information in that link so I will give you that.

Anyway, let me get back to the National Can-It-Forward Day.  One of the things that’s happening is the Ball canning jar people were kind enough to give me 15 cases of these awesome blue jars they have.  They call them the Ball Heritage Collection jars and they were issued this year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of what they call their perfect mason jar.

I have 15 of these beautiful cases of jars to give out to anyone – well, you don’t get it just for signing up for my newsletter – if you sign up for the Canning Season newsletter and if you go to and look on the right, there’s a huge picture of jars in the case.  Just click through that and it will explain all the rules of the contest, how you can sign up.  If you sign up, you will be eligible for a drawing to win some of these jars.

Now, there’s not just 15 cases of these jars you can win.  There are three additional cases, which I would call super collectors’ edition of these jars.  You see, what they did was they took the first hundred cases from the production run and they put them aside.  They issued certificates of authenticity to go with them so that you know that they came from the first hundred cases.  I actually have a case that they gave me and I included a picture of it in the link on my website, at

Again, just click on that big picture of the jars on the homepage and it’ll take you to it, and you’ll see that my certificates – so I have the case of the jars, you know how they’re shrunk-wrapped in the plastic – so underneath the plastic is an original hand-signed certificate that says I have case #51 of the first hundred made.  You better believe I’m not taking that shrink wrap off of that!  I am keeping that as a collector’s item.  I think that’s wonderful.  You can win one of 15 normal cases or maybe you get to win one of the super collectors’ cases.

The reason I want you to sign up for the newsletter is not just to put yourself in the drawing, because if that’s what you’re going to do it for, I mean fine.  You can still win them.  But I’d really like you to do it because of course I’ll let you know when I have a new blog posting or a new podcast.  I’ll send you a message that way so you don’t have to keep coming to the website to find it, but more importantly you will now get from me these very valuable discount codes from my affiliate partners.

For example, last weekend Starbucks had a deal where you would buy two pounds of coffee and you got one pound free.  My friend Scott, who is the father of Becky – and they were over here last weekend for me to teach Becky how to can – he loves Starbucks coffee and he said that was a phenomenal deal.  If you went and looked into the Twitter feed for Starbucks, you can’t find that deal promoted in the past week or two.  I couldn’t find it.  I couldn’t find it on the Starbucks website, so this really has some exclusivity to it and you’ll be getting those discount codes if you sign up for the Canning Season newsletter.

This weekend coming up, the people who make Pfaltzgraff Dinnerware – dishware I think it is, which is the first set of dishes I had coming out of college way back in the mid 80s – yes I am old, I know, 51 – their coupon code this weekend for just a couple of days, is 40% off one item.  That may not sound like much.  You’re like, “One item.  That’s like what – a dish?”  No.  Some of those so-called “single items” are full sets of dishes, so I plan to buy a set of dishes for myself using that discount code.  Why not?  Forty percent off?  I think that’s awesome.

As a reminder, of course if you ever click through the links from my sponsors – my affiliate partners – I do earn a small commission for that which helps support the show.  I am so appreciative of if you do that, and you would pay the same price if you went to their website on your own, except in my case if you sign up for the newsletter you are in fact getting those discount codes.

There you go.  That’s how I am in fact joining in the celebration of Can-It-Forward so I have the jars you can win and I am going to New York to cover the event.  Hopefully, I’ll have some great interviews for you.  With that, let’s head out into the garden for some gardening talk and canning talk.

All right.  I wish I could tell you I had something to report on my tomatoes.  I don’t.  They’re still green and the plants are huge though this year but the tomatoes are still green.  I was down at the Farmer’s Market this past weekend.  I saw a lot of tomatoes.  They would sell a tray of three of them for three bucks and five bucks and I’m thinking, “Holy cow, is that expensive for tomatoes!”

I mean, I know they’re fresh-picked and all that but man, that was expensive.  My berry patch is still producing but I’m not paying much attention to that now – I’ve moved on.  Last time I told you I had heard that the sweet corn was in, I got some at the Farmer’s Market and guess what – it sucked.  It’s all dry and it doesn’t have that sweet, milky, juicy flavor that you really like from fresh corn, so I don’t think I’m going to keep it.  I did scrape it off of the husks and got a whole bunch of it set aside.

I have a tip for you as a great way to freeze your fresh corn when you buy it now.  What I do is I take a chef’s knife and I cut off all the kernels and I scrape off all that milky sweet stuff and I measure it out into one-cup portions.  Then I take each individual one cup and I pour it into a plastic bag, a Ziploc bag, and then I stack them on their side.  Now, that is a beautiful way to have pre-measured, this awesome wonderful – when it is really good, I’m trusting it’ll be really good in maybe a few more weeks – but when the corn is at the peak of freshness and it has all that wonderful sweetness, that’s how you can preserve corn really well, because to can corn it does require pressure processing, unless you’re making a pickled version of corn but to can it, to me I’ve never canned it because it’s worth it to just freeze it and you capture all the essence and it’s not complicated.

Your trick is, measure out one cup if that’s the portion you want, or whatever portion you or your family need, and pour it into a Ziploc bag, seal the bag, turn it on its side, stack them up, put them in the freezer and there you go.  That lasted me well into the winter.  In fact, I was eating some of them even until the spring so that’s okay.

When I was down at the Farmer’s market, of course I did what I always do.  I failed in my mission to stick to what I just went there for – I went down for beets and cucumbers because Scott was bringing his daughter Becky over.  Scott is a friend of mine and we used to work together and so I’m godfather to his daughter and Becky’s mother was out of town for the weekend so they were coming over to learn how to make pickled beets and kosher dill refrigerator pickles, one of my huge favorites among those who I give out my goodies to.

So to the Farmer’s Market, that was the goal, let’s go get some cucumbers, let’s go get some beets.  Of course, I didn’t stick to that.  Oh man, I got shallots, I got leeks, I got some wonderful little fingerling potatoes because I figured I’ll make some leek and potato soup.  I got fresh eggs, you know, plucked from the chicken that morning I guess or the day before.  They were certainly very fresh.  Fresh lettuce, jalapenos …

What about you?  Do you go the Farmer’s Market and just get what you set out to get?  I think it’s really hard when you’re walking around and there’s all that.  To me, it’s staggering abundance.  We are so, so blessed to have all that wonderful food right there, and of course, we try to capture the essence of that through canning and then preserving that.  That’s what this show is all about here.

So I get on home with the cucumbers and the beets and all the rest of the produce and Scott brings Becky over and it is time to teach them how to can.

Re-doing the Deli-Style Kosher Dill Pickles

One of the things that I ended up having to do was, remember that awesome deli style Kosher dill relish that I made last week and I told you about?  I had to re-process it because we’re going to the state fair.  I decided to enter my kosher dill relish into the state fair, the Minnesota state fair.  As a matter of fact, I signed up on Tuesday of this week and up on the website I’ll put a picture of the signup form.  It’s really cool.  You can see the lower logo.

I decided to reprocess it because the vegetables just weren’t covered with enough liquid, enough pickling solution, and so I put them all into a big container, heated them up again and added proportionally more vinegar and water so that when I put them back in the jars the vegetables would be covered by the pickling solution because that’s really important.

It’s really important that it be covered with that briny, vinegary, whatever it is that you’re doing you want your vegetables completely covered, so I thought it was worth it to just reheat them.  They’re so briny and vinegary I wasn’t really worried about it in a week but I will tell you this, as I always say.  When in doubt, throw it out.  In this case, I didn’t have doubts.  I just had enough nagging doubt that if it went on for months – I didn’t have peace of mind I thought it was worth redoing it.  It took a long time though to reopen all those 17 jars.

Then remember, once you open a jar you cannot ever reuse the lid.  You have to throw it away, which means I had to redo all those lids too, but that’s how it goes and that’s fine.  Let’s move ahead now to a little bit of what we love to do, celebrating and sharing the abundance.

I have a great story for you this week on celebrating and sharing the abundance.  

This actually happens to have taken place when I was with some of my buddies from the fire department.  Those of you who have heard me talk before, you may be aware that I was a volunteer firefighter for 20 years, and I’m very proud of that service.  One of the things that’s beautiful about being a firefighter is once you’ve gone into harm’s way with other firefighters it does change you forever and you’re bonded to each other forever, and so even though I am retired from active duty I was invited to a wonderful summer event and now I’m going to set the scene for you.  Are you ready?

That’s the sound you’re hearing in the background of a Minnesota summer evening, and that crackling sound is the sound of a fire.  There I was with my fighter buddies sitting around a fire on a beautiful Minnesota summer night, a weekend night.

Wonderful breeze, we’ve been together for a number of hours, lots of laughter in the background.  As a matter of fact, as I sat there one of the things I did was I looked at the fire.  I just got quiet.  I’m inside and I listen to just the sounds, not just of the fire and the crickets and everything else.  I listen to the sound of my buddies and their women and everyone together, and the dominant sound that kept coming up was laughter, and that was really wonderful.

There was a moment when we were all sitting around the fire and there was just silence among all of us for about half a minute, just a moment of community, communing with each other but not really, because we’re firefighters and we don’t really talk that way when we’re together.

Anyway, this was a retirement party for one of my friends named Chuck who was retiring from active duty with my department.  I was getting to know his new lady friend Melanie and I’ve been hearing great things about Melanie for a long, long time from Chuck and I was really happy to be able to meet her now.  One of my other buddies, he likes to make fun of me, starts poking in front of me about, “Hey, John.  Have you made any peaches lately?”

Well, you can’t embarrass me because I’m proud of the fact that I make peaches and I give them away and so he tries but it didn’t work!  That gets Melanie asking me about canning because she didn’t know quite what Matt’s joke was all about.

She said she had always wanted to learn to do canning and so I told her about the podcast and as I’m with everybody and I asked her, I said, “What do you want me to talk about in the podcast?”  Her question was simple.  She said, “I don’t know where to start.”

Introducing Canning 101

What I’m going to do for you here on the Canning Season podcast in the next week or so is I’ve put together a series of podcast episodes in which I will talk about the basics of home canning.  It’s essentially Canning 101, so why do we can.  I’ll introduce you to the concept of high-acid foods, low-acid foods, botulism and food poisoning and how we’d prevent that.  I’ll talk about different methods of canning, boiling water canning, pressure processing.

I’m now lining up someone, I think who may come and speak and be a guest on my show from the Centers for Disease Control to talk about botulism and food poisoning and things like that.

Thanks to Melanie’s question, as we were celebrating and sharing the abundance among friends on that wonderful Minnesota summer night.  What a wonderful feeling to think of the summer feeling, how awesome that is, and to be with your friends and be sitting there.

We can do that here in Minnesota.  We can have fires in the yard and you can sit around and that crackling sound – that’s real – and the breeze in the background.  It was just a wonderful evening, and it’s because of that I got to meet my dear friend, I got to meet his lady friend and she’s so important in his life.  They’re important in each other’s lives and that’s where this simple question came from.

Because of that I’ll now give you some of the basics in home canning and what you’re going to get is you’re going to get a series of podcasts get posted pretty quickly over the next ten days or so.  It could happen the next few days as fast as I can get them recorded, so right now I’m giving you a show once a week but these are going to come quick because we are in the peak of the growing season.

A lot of you are doing lots of canning right now and so that’ll be out there for you and you’ll be able to have that.

Listener email and comments

All right, let’s move ahead now (music).  We have some listener email and comments then I hit the music button too quickly so sorry about that.  Anyway, I would like to give a shoutout to Melissaloo5.  That’s her Twitter handle.

Melissaloo5 tweets me some messages from time to time to let me know what she is putting up and I will tell you, Melissaloo5, I’m jealous.  Oh my goodness, what you put up last weekend.  Here we go.

Her weekend canning last weekend included rhubarb syrup, blueberry butter, zucchini relish, chili sauce, and Mexican corn.  How awesome does all of that sound?  When I saw that tweet I thought, “Oh, I was so grateful that she tweeted to me.”

You can of course follow me at Canning Season and tweet your messages to me.  I want to hear from you.  This is part of celebrating and sharing and that’s part of the community so I thought that was really cool.

This evening I got an email from Chanda and Chanda said very nicely, “I love your podcast.”  That’s awesome, thank you.  “I am a beginner and I have one failed attempt at plum jam under my belt.  I curious what made it fail.”  Let me know.  If I can help you with that, I will.  “With all the tips and resources you have provided I’m going to try canning again.”

I’m really glad to hear that.  I’m glad you’re going to try again because even though I’ve been doing this since – what did I say, 2006? – I keep making mistakes every year.

I try new things and then I mess it up, like the strawberry jam just didn’t turn out really good this year but my raspberry jam was a hit and the deli style kosher dill relish, I’m entering it into the state fair, and it’s my second year putting something into the state fair so I’m excited about that.  But I’m glad that you’re tying and coming on back because that’s what the spirit is about here, and you do learn.  We’ll share the ideas and we’ll make you better.

Also, what I like about that message is, the compliments, with all the tips and resources, I am creating a resources link that will be on the homepage of the Canning Season podcast so that a lot of the stuff I’m pointing you to from show to show I’ll accumulate it in one place and in the resources link you’ll find a lot of how to and a lot of places to go.

I will also list all my affiliate partners and then if you’re able to support them, of course I do appreciate that because it helps me a lot in supporting the cost of producing the show.

I did receive a wonderful message from Nuay.  That’s how she pronounces it.  She was nice enough to say it’s pronounced Nuay from Las Vegas.  Poor Nuay does have a problem.  This is what she says.  She’s a beginning canner.  This weekend she tried to can whole peeled tomatoes with no added liquid by following a recipe from the Ball recipe book.

First off, good for you.  Follow the recipe especially if you’re beginning.  If you’re a new canner, don’t deviate from the recipes.  Just don’t.  It’s too dangerous.  These recipes are proven.  They’re safe.  You can have confidence if you follow the recipe.

But what Nuay says is it was a bit of a disaster as two of her six jars didn’t seal and one broke in the hot water bath, and of the remaining three sealed jars only one looks good and the other two have tomatoes floating off of the bottom of the jar.  She does rightly say dealing with all of her issues ‘could take a whole show but could I address the floating and/or reasons why a lid might not seal.’  She said she’s had some good luck with pickles that she packed in hot brine but the raw pack of tomatoes has her down.

All right, yes.  I can address some of this but you are right.  This is a whole show and that’s what’s going to show up.  That’s another reason, aside from Melanie’s question, you know, when gathered around the fire with my friends – my fire buddies – questions like I’m getting from Nuay are what’s leading me to produce this series for you of the basics of home canning, Canning 101.

Some quick tips for you:  I have to tell you, in all the years of canning I never had a jar break when I processed it, so right away my question says – do you have a rack in the bottom of your pot?  Because the jars have to be off the bottom.  They can’t be touching the bottom.  The rattle, the heat’s distributed inconsistently and they will break.  Now, Marissa in episode #2 had a tip that was simple.  She said put a dishtowel in the bottom if you don’t have a rack.  I mean, it gets all wet but who cares.  It keeps the jars off of the bottom.  I’ve never tried that so I can’t speak to that but she felt good about that as an option if you’re using a stockpot or something else like that.  That’s the reason that the jars may be breaking.

Now, the jars not sealing, the thing I would offer there – and this is simple – do you wipe off the rims before you put the lids on?  You have to wipe off the rims.  What I do is I take a clean paper towel and you have a big pot of boiling water anyway because your jars are in it, and I did part of the paper towel just to get it moist, and it might be a little bit hot on your finger tips but it’s not terrible.  I get it moist and I wipe the rim of every single jar and you’ll see that a lot of food residue will get on that and you keep rotating it, keeping it all, you know, a nice, fresh, clean portion of the paper towel.

That’s usually the number one reason why my lids have not sealed in the past.  I did learn the hard way early on because just food residue gets on there.  The other reason is you may not be screwing the screw tops on tight enough.  You want them hand tight, snug.  You’re not jamming down on them but they can’t be so loose that the food will then boil over and then prevent a good seal too.

The last thing, you actually identified the answer yourself.  You raw-packed the tomatoes and that’s why they’re floating, because when you raw-pack things they keep a lot more air in them.

Think about an apple.  An apple will float and, you know, we bob for apples because they float, they’re loaded with air, yet if you make applesauce, which you heat up and then you’re mushing up the apples, the applesauce doesn’t float.

What I suspect happened is your tomatoes were raw-packed.  That’s why they’re floating.  The way you handle that is put them in a big pot – a stockpot or something – and heat them up and let them break down.  It doesn’t matter.  They’re tomatoes.  Who cares?  I personally, I’ll use the immersion blender because I don’t care that I’m having a tomato puree.  I do so many things with that anyway that I don’t necessarily need the big chunky pieces of tomato and it gets all the air out, and this also heats it up.  That’s how you do that.

Also, a quick tip if you’re not doing it, tomatoes happen to be on the cusp of high-acid versus low-acid, and just as an added safety tip, add a little bit of lemon juice to your tomatoes when you’re packing them up, because that’s a nice way to keep that all safe for you.

Let’s talk a little bit about beets, refrigerator dill pickles, and jalapenos will bring it on home.

All right.  Scott and Becky were over here this weekend.  We were teaching Becky how to make refrigerator dill pickles.  Like I said, they are a huge hit with friends and family.  Scott and I both like pickled beets.  I told them, I said, “I’m going to try to get some beets.  Do you care?”  He said, “Sure.  I love pickled beets.”  We made them and we also made jalapenos.

So how do you make refrigerator dill pickles?  Well, let me start with the beets first.  

What do you do to make pickled beets is you clean and sort the beets and you have to cook them, and you cook them in boiling water.  I have to say, I messed this up.  I had to cook them twice because it was really hard to get the skins off of them.  If any of you have a tip for getting the skins off of beets, I’ve done them in the past and the skins came off a lot easier than they did this year.  Maybe I just didn’t cook them long enough or whatever, but it was really hard to get the skins off of them this year.

But you have to get the skins off of the beets.  There’s a lot of bacteria and a lot of dirt and stuff like that that’s embedded in the skin and it’s just safer preserving if you get the skin off of the beets – off of carrots, off of anything else that has a skin on it, potatoes – anything that you’re pickling up or canning in any way, get that skin off of it.

The next thing you do is in your big stockpot you make your pickling solution according to the recipe provided in the Ball Book of Preserving.  They’ll be a link in the website and the show notes, or whatever your recipe is.

Again, if you’re new I want you to stick to proven and tested recipes. I absolutely do that all the time.

You cut up the beets in smaller pieces.  

I put them in the pickling solution.

I hot-pack them into clean jars.

In the future episode, for those newer, I will explain fresh pack, raw pack versus hot pack, and you boil them up for the amount of time prescribed in the recipe.

And always, there’s John’s touch.  

John’s touch this time was the recipe called for putting cinnamon sticks in the pickling solution to get a, you know, an over-known or a little note of cinnamon, I actually shook some cinnamon in.  I didn’t have cinnamon sticks so I just shook some powdered cinnamon in.  Not a ton, just enough that it gave it just a hint of very pleasant flavor.  That worked pretty well.

Let’s get to our time now with Becky, my Goddaughter.  

Teaching her how to make refrigerator dills, it was staggeringly, strikingly, extraordinarily easy.  That’s the beauty of it.  Here’s how you do it.

You need a bucket.  You need a plastic bucket.  Technically it should be food grade.  I will tell you that I’ve used kitty litter buckets.  A girlfriend of mine in the past had a cat and she gave me a kitty litter bucket.  The cucumbers and brine are only in that solution for a couple of weeks and I’ve used it year to year, but technically use a food grade plastic bucket or a stainless steel bucket.  That’s my official recommendation.

Anyway, you clean and sort the cucumbers.  Never get the waxed kind at the supermarket.  When I say waxed kind if you note, they’re dipped in paraffin or some kind of wax to preserve them, the brine solution won’t penetrate that.  That wax that’s on those cucumbers is designed to keep moisture from penetrating so that they fresh longer at the supermarket.  Also, that longer kind of cucumber that you get at the supermarket commonly is not ideal for pickling anyway.  You want what are called pickling cucumbers.

So you clean and sort the cucumbers and when I say clean and sort, this was kind of cute with Becky.  She’s only I think 15 this summer and she’s over the sink and I handed her a mini little scrub brush and like she’s delicate flower-like touching these things.  I said, “No.  You have to scrub them,” and she didn’t believe me.

I said no, and I showed her.  You have to scrub them off.  Get all that dirt residue out because they’re outside.  They’re in the dirt.

So the next thing you do is cut off what’s called the blossom end.  There’s the stem end and that’s where it’s the stem connected to the plant, and then the other end is the blossom end.

The reason you want to cut that off – I actually got even finer reading on why we do that this week – there’s an enzyme in there, is what I read, and it will make your pickling solution cloudy, so get those blossom ends off.

You mix up the salt, the vinegar, the water, the dill, and the garlic per directions, per the recipe.  The recipe in this case comes from the National Center for Home Food Preservation, one of the very trusted go-to resources you’ve heard me talk about before.

That is your recipe for making these refrigerator dills.

Now, this is not a canning process.  This is actually a fermentation process.  That is, we’re not applying heat and we’re letting these things ferment in a bucket of brine for a few weeks.  That is essentially how they’re pickling, and then we’re refrigerating them after the brine has penetrated the pickle enough, because refrigeration then slows down the fermentation process.

Now, the directions from the recipe I post on my website make it clear what temperature you want to store them at.  Essentially, it’s a version of room temperature.  You make it too hot and they’ll ferment too fast in there right away.  If it’s too cold, the fermentation process won’t work.

Anyway, you’ve processed the cucumbers, you mixed up the brine solution, and it was interesting.  Scott made the observation that he thought there would be a lot more vinegar in there, and I thought so too.  I’d never stopped to think about it.  There’s not a lot of vinegar that goes in.  There’s a lot of salt.  That’s how you’re actually preserving this and fermenting it.

Then what you’ll do is you need to have something that could cover these, and I don’t mean a lid that leaves lots of air.  I mean something that could weigh down these cucumbers and keep them underneath the brine solution.  They need to stay immersed.

Then you wait two to three weeks, you enjoy the wonderful East Coast deli type of smell wherever you have these things sitting.  Follow directions in the recipe on how to remove scum, what to watch for inspecting things like that.

This last part, I’ll tell you I do it.  I don’t recommend it.  It’s entirely optional but it sure is a nice little joke with those who get these things from me.  That is, letting the dog lick the brine is optional!

You see, my bucket of brined pickles, when I do them, sits on the garage and when Philly and I are heading to the car, sometimes she ends up going over there – I’m not paying attention – and there she is, licking at the salty brine solution that’s near the top of the bucket.  I’m hoping and trusting that that brine has created enough of a poisonous solution that dog saliva can’t really, the bacteria can’t really live.

That, like I said, is optional.  It’s not recommended.  It’s just a bit of folklore for you to enjoy.

Last item that we canned together was jalapenos.  

Here’s my take on jalapenos.  The kitchen’s already hot so why not make some nice hot jalapenos?

Making pickled jalapenos is so easy and everything’s already heated up.  You have the boiling water going, you have the jars and all that, you take the jalapenos, slice them up into the type of slices that you’ll put on your awesome nachos Grande.

You make the pickling solution as per instructions.  In this case, it is heavily loaded with vinegar and some water.  We threw in some garlic cloves for a little bit of kick.  For some reason, the garlic cloves turned blue though.  They had some blue tinting.  I don’t know why they did.  I don’t know how to answer that so we took the garlic cloves out before we sealed up the jars, but that’s it.

We processed them for I think ten minutes or whatever – done, jalapenos.  You have them and there you go.

We are now near the end and I just want to remind you to sign up for the Canning Season newsletter.  

Of course, you can win these wonderful jars.  I’d really – if I didn’t say it earlier – I should remind you.  If I’m saying it again, I apologize.  But there’s only 39 people or so who are already on my newsletter list.  The odds of you winning that case to these jars are pretty high, but you have to be on the list, and you want multiple entries there are legitimate ways to do that.

For example, you could give me a rating on iTunes, if you haven’t done that yet.  The ratings on iTunes stopped last week, I think because I put a full transcript up of last week’s show.  I’d like your feedback on that, by the way.  Do you want just show notes?  Do you want the full transcript?

I put up the full transcript because some people read.  Some people don’t listen.  Well, that sounds like you don’t listen but you know what I mean.  Some people prefer the reading medium as opposed to the listening and I think made for such a long posting the reminder to give me some positive love on iTunes, if you would please, got buried, so I’ll remind you to do that.

Doing that and then sending me a quick email to let me know you did it is a great way to have an additional entry in to win a case of these jars.  Also, in the landing page for signing up for the newsletter is a pre-made tweet where if you tweet out to let people know that you entered the contest, that’s another way to enter in.

Somebody signed up and then unsubscribed right away and tweeted out, thinking that they’re going to win.  You will not win if you unsubscribe from the newsletter.  You have to stay subscribed.

Last item.  Do you have anyone I should interview in future episodes?  Send them my way.  

If you have any ideas, things you want me to talk about, anything related to home canning, food preservation or lifestyle of celebrating and sharing the abundance, let me know.

You can contact me at under the link Contact John.  You know what else is there?  There’s that phone number there!  You can call and leave me a message.  How would you like to be featured in a future episode?  I might feature the question that you ask.  Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter, and watch for those new episodes.  They’re coming out.  They’ll come in rapid succession, and if you’re a veteran, I’m a veteran and I found going over the material was a great refresher for me.  I’m planning to deliver it compactly in short episodes, hopefully.  If you’re a newbie, it’s going to be a great resource for you as well.

With that, I don’t know what I’m going to can this weekend.  Might not can at all, we’ll see, because I’m working on these podcasts for you, but I am still going to enjoy this wonderful summer we have here on the North Woods part of the United States.  Be safe.  Be well.  I’ll see you next time.

Thanks for listening to the Canning Season Podcast at