It’s time to get into a pickle

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This is the year, y’all. This is the year you are going to can your summer harvest! And by “can” I mean pickle! Because really, how many cucumbers can one family eat?

Once upon a time homes didn’t have freezers or refrigerators, so in order to preserve food, it had to be pickled.

To pickle something really just means to put it in a jar of vinegar and/or salt for a long time. Together, the salt and vinegar prevent bacteria from growing and spoiling whatever you’ve pickled, usually vegetables but you can also pickle meat like mussels, clams or chicken, and of course you can also pickle eggs.

But today we’re going to talk about pickling cucumbers.

Besides the cukes themselves, you’re going to need some basic supplies:

• A candy thermometer
• A stone crock
• A weight
• Jars
• Bands
• Lids
• Canning salt
• White or cider vinegar
• Boiling water canner

At this time of year, you’ll find most of these items at a hardware store. Or your grandmother’s house. Heck, ask around the neighborhood and see if someone will part with their jars in exchange for a jar of homemade pickles!

One more item you should pick up before you get started is a copy of the Ball Blue Book of Canning so that you can ensure you’re canning safely.

Now, to get you started, I’m going to share a couple of fabulous pickle recipes with you:

Grandma’s Famous Bread and Butter Pickles

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Ingredients
  

  • 6 pounds cucumbers washed, sliced
  • 2 pounds onions peeled, sliced
  • 1/2 cup canning salt (make sure it’s called “canning salt” table salt won’t do)
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 quart apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ginger

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl or container place sliced onion and cucumbers, sprinkle with canning salt, cover with ice.
  • Refrigerate for three hours.
  • In a large pot, bring to a boil, the sugar, mustard seed, celery, turmeric vinegar, peppercorns, and ginger.
  • Sugar should be dissolved and boiling.
  • Then drain the pickles and onions well.
  • Add to the boiling mixture.
  • Immediately fill pint and quart jars with cucumbers, onion, and juice mixture.
  • Leave 1/2 inch headspace for expansion (follow instructions with your canner).
  • Process for 30 minutes keeping the temperature at 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Notes

A few more tips:
  • Always label and date your jars so you know when you made them.
  • Store pickles in a cool dark place
  • Follow your canner instructions to a T
  • Always check your seals
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Grandma's Famous Dill Pickles

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Course Side Dishes

Ingredients
  

  • 10 small pickling cucumbers thin slice cut from each end
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons canning salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar optional
  • 4 teaspoons dill seeds
  • 4 small cloves garlic peeled, smashed

Instructions
 

  • Process jars in canner according to canner instructions.
  • In a saucepan combine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar; bring to a boil.
  • Place 1 teaspoon dill seeds and 1 clove of garlic into each jar, then pack in cucumbers.
  • Pour boiling mixture over cucumbers leaving 1/2 inch headspace for expansion.
  • Process 30 minutes keeping the temperature at 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Notes

A few more tips:
  • Always label and date your jars so you know when you made them.
  • Store pickles in a cool dark place
  • Follow your canner instructions to a T
  • Always check your seals
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

There you have it, you’re good to go!

The bonus is that once you have the method and the gear, you can pickle just about anything.

0 Responses

    1. Sure, sliced either way long for sandwiches or cross grain for”hamburger dills”. Try using the dill recipe with whole green beans, ends cut and omit the sugar. You will love them. I usually double the water in my recipe and add a smidgen of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for Spicy mini dills.

  1. Sadly some bugs ate all my cucumber plants (along with the squashes). I’m should be able to pick up some nice pickling cucumbers at the farmers market this weekend and look forward to giving the dill pickle recipe a try.

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