Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bread and Butter Pickles

Our pickling cucumber plants continue to be prolific. I picked another three pounds of cukes, and since we've got about 5 quarts of dill pickles already I decided to make some more sweet pickles. This time though, I went for my grandma's recipe. This made four quarts. Mmmm gallon of pickles...

Wash and slice very thin into a large bowl:

4 Qts firm cucumbers
2 seeded bell peppers
8 peeled and sliced onions

Add 1/2 C course (not table) salt, cover with cracked ice and mix well. Cover with weighted lid for 3 hours. Drain well.

Combine and boil for 2-3 minutes:
5 C good cider vinegar
5 C sugar
1 1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t ground cloves
2 t celery seed
2 T mustard seed
Add drained veggies, bring to boil but do not boil. Pack in sterilized jars and seal. Makes about 8 pints.
I busted out the mandolin and got to slicing. I only had 3lbs of cukes, which works out to about 3 quarts, so I added another quart of sliced crookneck zucchini that one of our neighbors had left out with a "Please take!" sign. Ah zucchini season. Everything went in two bowls and was layered with kosher salt and ice for three hours. Here it is at the end.

To make the brine I got out my 4 gallon pot. I actually had to make the brine twice, because, inexplicably, the first time round I put water in instead of vinegar. D'oh! Oh well. I added a tablespoon of my general pickling spice instead of the cloves. One, because it has cloves in it. And two, because I couldn't find my jar of cloves.

Brought to a boil, then in when the veggies, brought back to a boil. Then packed into my warm sterilized jars. It was a bit of a mess, I really need a canning funnel. But at least I got my hands on some canning tongs, so removing the jars from boiling water is a snap and not a horrible, scalding nightmare. After they were in the jars, on went the lids, then into the canner (by which I mean my 5 gallon pot with a broccoli steamer set in the bottom) to process for 10 minutes. Then cooled, dated, and stashed on the ever-growing pickle shelf.


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