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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Editor's Choice: Fire & Flavor Ice Box Dill Pickling Seasoning

I don't can. It smacks of effort and I don't have any counter space. But my best friend does. So, when I went to visit her in her lovely Arlington, MA home, I brought some canning stuff along, because what else are two girls who have been besties for 20+ years going to do? She swore to me that she had the right stuff for pickles, but it turned out the cucumbers had other ideas and grew a fuzzy green winter coat. Ah well. We rolled with it and decided to make Dilly Beans instead, with the Fire & Flavor Crispy Icebox Dill spices for canning. It was a rousing success.

This little packet of spices needs you have on hand: FRESH dill (there is dried dill included), garlic cloves (we used the cheater garlic, already diced and in the jar), vinegar, water and of course the veggies you are pickling.  Luckily my friend had all this stuff in her home because we started our canning adventure 1/2 a bottle of wine in at 11 p.m. Replacing the cucumbers with fresh green beans from the local organic farm was the wild card. We had both green beans and white green beans (stay with me here) which made for very attractive jars of canned stuff, which is not something you can count on. Home-canned vegetables can look like a science experiment at times, though they usually taste delicious. These were both attractive AND tasty.

The spice packet included is flavorful and aromatic. As soon as we opened it and put it in the hot water and vinegar, we knew this was going to go well. We made two double pints instead of the four pints the package calls for. I didn't get to taste the dilly beans, myself but the next week, my nephews consumed both jars of dilly beans in 34.59 seconds, I am told, and they asked for more. No greater endorsement than that.

-Elizabeth Dugan