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New Recipe – Pickled Eggs!

pickled eggs

In the last couple weeks we watched three of my sister’s kids for a week, took care of the ranch (with our nephew Eli’s help), celebrated Mothers Day with my Mom and four of my siblings (Plus my husband and wonderful kids), AND we put up 25 quarts of pickled eggs.

Everyone who has had chickens knows that sometimes there are no eggs, and sometimes you have way too many eggs. That’s why I like to pickle my eggs when I have an abundance.

When I am in a hurry, there is nothing like grabbing a jar of pickled eggs to slice for sandwiches, or chop up for potato salad or sandwich filling.

I don’t have it perfected yet, but thought I’d share my recipe with you.

Pickled Eggs

First, soft boil your eggs. I like to boil at least 12 dozen eggs, because it takes 12 eggs to fill a quart jar, and I like to put up enough to make it worth my effort. But, if your water bath canner can only hold eight jars, you might decide to pickle eight dozen. Or I suppose you could do 4 dozen eggs, with 6 eggs in each pint, and end up with 8 pint jars.

Another thing to consider is there are always a percent of the eggs that don’t peel nicely. I like my jars to look pretty. So, I usually boil more than I need, then chop up eggs that are falling apart and use them right away, instead of pickling the pieces.

Anyway, this recipe is for a 12 dozen eggs.

Boil your eggs, cool them down, and peel them.

My process this last time was I would fill my large pan with 5-6 dozen eggs, then fill it with cold water (leaving a couple inches head room for boiling). Then I would turn on the heat, bring it to a boil, and boil for 15 minutes. Because it was such a large pan, I had a hard time getting my water to a rolling boil. So, when my 15 minute timer went off, I would turn the heat off, but let the eggs sit in the water for another 5 minutes to keep cooking.

Then, because I was cooking batch after batch and wanted to reuse my hot water, I would use a slotted spoon to fish out my eggs and place them in a large mixing bowl on the counter to start cooling.

I’d start a timer for 10 minutes. When it went off, I’d dump the eggs into the drawer of my fridge, with a few ice packs, to continue cooling. If you didn’t have enough room in your fridge, another option for cooling a big batch of boiled eggs would be to spread a couple bags of ice out in the bottom of a cooler, then dump your boiled eggs in there to cool off.

Meanwhile, while I was waiting 10 minutes for the eggs to start cooling on the counter, I’d use the slotted spoon to slowly lower more eggs into the hot water. Then I’d  turn on the heat under the pan and repeat.

Once all my eggs were cooked and cooled, I’d start peeling them. I’d take out a bowl full of boiled eggs, peel them, and place them back in the fridge in a container. (that way the peeled eggs were kept separate from the eggs with shells, and there were never very many eggs out of the fridge at a time)

Once all my eggs are peeled, I’ll get ready to can them.

To make the brine, mix the following ingredients in a pot and bring to boil:

  • 3 quart distilled vinegar
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 cup salt

At this time I’d fill my canner just over half full (for quart jars) and get it boiling. You want the canner to have enough water that it cover the tops of the jars by 1-2 inches. So, if you are canning pints, or aren’t canning enough quarts to fill your canner, you will need more water.

You can experiment with how much water you need in your canner ahead of time by filling your desired size and amount of jars with water and screwing lids on them, placing them in your canner, then measuring how many gallons of water you need.

Once the brine and the water canner are both heating, I’ll get everything else ready.

I like to add to each quart jar when I fill it:

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic

So, when I am getting ready, I like to peel a bowl full of garlic cloves. I also like to put a bowl of turmeric powder on the counter with a 1/2 teaspoon in it.

I place my jar tongs on the counter, along with a bowl of brand new canning lids, and another bowl of canning rings.

I get out my canning jars and make sure they are all clean and near the sink.

Then I will get all the eggs out and fill their containers with hot water, covering the eggs by about an inch of water. When your eggs are chilled, it can cool your brine down too much, causing broken jars and lids that don’t seal. So I like to heat all the eggs up right before I start canning by pouring hot water over them.

Then I place clean dishpans in the sink and fill about 1/2 full with hot tap water (ours gets pretty hot). Then I place three jars in each dishpan. Your jars must be hot when you pour the boiling brine into them, or the jars can break. As you are filling jars, keep refilling the dishpans with jars so they all have a chance to warm up before being filled with the hot brine.

Once the jars, the eggs, the brine, and the water in the canner are all hot, then you’re ready to start the race. I like to get the jars filled and in the canner as soon as possible once I start filling them, so they don’t have time to cool down. That being said, many hands are handy for this part.

Someone grabs a jar and tosses 12 eggs, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric in it, then passes it to the next person. They use a jar funnel and a ladle to fill the jar. Then a canning lid and ring are put on the jar.

When there are enough full jars to fill the canner, the canner should be turned off, the lid removed, and the jars lowered slowly into the water using the canning tongs.

Then the lid should be replaced, the heat turned back on, and the timer set for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile a counter should be cleared, and a towel spread out, so as to make a place for the hot jars when they are removed.

When the 15 minutes is up, turn off the heat, carefully remove the lid, and then use the canning tongs to slowly remove the jars and place on towel (right side up) with 1 inch space in between jars.

Let sit for 12 hours without disturbing.

After that time has passes, test the lids to see if they are sealed. Any that are not sealed should be place in the fridge and used first. The rest of the jars may be stored on a shelf in a cool place until needed.

Why I Decided to Make a Cookbook

I naturally am a cook that tosses in a little of that and a little of this. But I’ve had enough people ask for “my recipes” that I’ve started putting together my first cookbook.

This means I’ve had to learn how to measure my ingredients, write them down, then evaluate my creation. Usually I have to tweak my recipe over and over again.

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-Susanna Dagley

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