Now that’s a mouth full. And once you try some, your mouth will be constantly full of them. I’m a sucker for garlic dill pickle anything, and having the abundance of radish pods this past season gave me the reason to learn how to make my own.
I had never canned anything before, and with horror thoughts of botulism running through my head, I was apprehensive about trying! However, I strapped on my big girl panties and bought a water-bath canning kit, and raided the garden. The worst that was going to happen was that the seals wouldn’t take, and I would have to put all the pickles in the fridge and eat them in a couple of weeks- challenge accepted!
The day before you plan on canning, have the radish pods trimmed of their stems (if you choose- I left most of mine on because it was ridiculously time consuming), and put them in a water bath in the fridge. A friend told me that she found that anything she pickled stayed crunchier if she iced them before she canned. You can see here that, after I sanitized the sink (because sinks are disgusting germ-pools), I put the pods in cold water with ice packs).
Preparation and cleanliness is key to avoid illness with canning- wipe everything down with sanitizer, and throw the jars into a hot dishwasher cycle (no need to heat the lids or seals). At this point, it’s probably best to throw on the giant pot of water that you’ll be using to can in, since it can take quite some time to bring a pot that big to a boil.
You’ll also need to do a little research, if you haven’t already done water bathing. Depending on the altitude that you are canning at, you may need to make a time adjustment to the recipe. I know that for the Calgary, AB region, I need to add 10 minutes to a base time in order to ensure that everything is cooked hot enough. The consensus is:
- 1,001 to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes
- 3,001 to 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes
- 6,001 to 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes
- 8,001 to 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes
In another pot, you’ll need a 2:1 ratio of vinegar to water, and a tablespoon of salt per pint jar you plan on making. Bring that mix to a boil. Take the jars from the still-hot dishwasher and put in 4 stems of dill (or so), and a large clove (or 2-3 small ones) of garlic to each, then fill with radish pods. Fill the jars with the boiling brine, leaving 1/2″ headspace. Clear the bubbles with the little spatula, or a clean knife. Clean off the rims with a clean cloth, and place the seal on and tighten the rim to hand-tight.
Next is the processing. Boil the jars in your canning pot for 10 minutes PLUS your elevation adjustment. Remove from the pot using your jar lifter, and place on either a wire rack or a towel, leaving enough room around each jar so that they don’t touch each other. You’ll probably notice that the seal still has a hump in the middle of it-don’t press it. Leave the jars on the counter, and as they cool you will hear little ‘pings’. The pings are the humps being sucked in, and that’s how you know your seal is good, and your canning was successful! If a jar doesn’t suck the hump down, don’t worry, just transfer it to the fridge and use within a week or two, and next time cook it a little longer.
These don’t taste much different from garlic dill cucumber pickles, but the texture is a little softer- not as crunchy. They are great in salads, or eaten alone. Don’t forget to eat the garlic when the jar is done!
Have you pickled before? What’s your favourite food to pickle?