I'm very much a novice canner. Still, I was a bit disappointed when my first try at pickles went so bad. They came out very soft, which is really unsettling when you bite in expecting a nice Vlasic-esque crunch! I'm fairly certain I know what went wrong. The water boiled over at some point and I turned it down, but didn't check to see if the water put the flame out...which it did. So when the timer went off and the water wasn't boiling, I was dismayed to find the flame was out and that I couldn't remember how long they had processed before the spill over. In the interest of safety I brought it back to a boil and started over with 15 minutes processing time from the start of the boil, so I'm sure there's no ikcy bacteria, but I was left with soft pickles! Yuck! I think I'll run them through the food processor and use them as relish.
Sigh. Thankfully it was a small batch so I didn't waste all my cucumbers!