I did it! I made my first jars of pickles yesterday. I made two kinds using recipes from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. The lighter kind are Traditional Bread & Butter pickles. The darker jars are British B & B's that contain brown sugar and ginger in the pickling liquid. I added some dried hot peppers to a few of the jars because I like me some heat, and, of course, put a clove of fresh farmer's market garlic in each jar because pickled garlic is just plain yummy.
Adding to my satisfaction of making these myself, is the fact that all the supplies and ingredients came out of my community. The cucumbers, onions, and garlic were purchased at the St. Paul Farmer's Market. Did you know the St. Paul Farmer's Market has satellite sites around the East Metro on weekdays? I go to the Roseville location on Tuesday mornings, which suits me because I find the weekend downtown market to be a bit crowded for my tastes. Find one near you here. The next few Tuesdays around my house may end up being Pickle Tuesdays thanks to the SPFM.
The canning supplies, jars, and lesson in canning basics came from Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply. The spices came from Penzeys Spices on Grand Avenue. Since Penzeys is headquartered in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, they get a "close enough" local business award. Plus being in a store full of spices nearly makes my head explode with the creative culinary possibilities. Plus, they have a great table and chairs drawing area that kept Charlie busy for a long time while I was lost in Spiceland. That's just good business.