Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hand dyed Pickles?

What a fun, tiring day I've had!
Every couple of years, Jerry and I spend a long hot day putting up as many jars of pickles as we can. We have a blast doing it too -- and we each have our areas of domain. He washes the cucumbers, cuts them and packs the jars. I prepare the garlic, mix and maintain the brine, fill the jars and put them into the canner. Jerry then lets the rack down into the boiling water, and lifts it out when it's done. Together we take the jars our of the canner, 2 at a time keeping it balanced, and put them on the counter, and the whole thing starts over.

Here is Jerry at his station, packin' pik's. We throw stuff and tickle and poke and generally behave like kids, and have a ball. After all is said and done, we have 67 quartsd of pickles, and what a satisfying feeling.

These pictures taken after the first couple of batches, before I got too hot and tired to think. After all the jars finished, kitchen cleaned, lunch taken and short rests, I decided to tackle hand dyeing fabric for the first time - WOW!! What fun! I have three tiny jars of Porcion powdered dye, the gold standard as I understand it, and lots of pages of instruction printed off the internet. In the end, it was pretty much expiremental. I made cyan, magenta and blue mixes, then mixed those to make others. I only had 3 yards of Kona PFD, so I cut it into fat quarters for my trial and error play day. Boy, was I surprised! I was under the impression that hand dyed meant pale -- WRONG!! I mixed my dyes very conservatively according to all the directions I had. I dyed in baggies with very small amounts of dye water, and left them in the sun for a couple of hours before adding the fixative and leaving them for another 2 hours. Rinsing the dye out was a drag, but in the end I have this:

Color is hard to get right online, but they're great colors, not pale at all. I love the crinkles and texture in them. Now what will I do with them? And how will I stop this sudden desire to do more more more? I'm so hooked. Watch me stock up on Kona PFD and become a hand dyed maniac!! LOL! Fun, fun, fun! But now I'm pooped, so a shower and bed sounds like just the ticket........


Rosy said...

WoW!!! I am so impressed at you and yur DH braving this horrid heat wave to stock up your pickle shelf!! As for the hand dyed fabric....better lockem' up!!!

Susan said...

I used to love canning and jam making simply because at the end you can look at it and say, "Wow, look what I have to show for the day!" And you have two batches of things to show for one day! Those are gorgeous colors. Makes me want to reach into the computer and grab them!

Pam said...

We can everything together. This year my sister will be my canning partner for tuna since Ed is cut back on what he can do. My sister - who has never canned by-the-way!! We have 120 # of tuna in the freezer to put up at the end of the month. The rest I can do by myself, but it is so much more fun to can with a partner. When the jars are on the shelves there is such a feeling of accomplishment. Love your pickles, they look really great!