Dill Pickles

Yield: about 7 pints or 3 quarts
8 pounds 4-6 inch cucumbers, cut lengthwise
into halves
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canning salt
1 quart vinegar
1 quart water
3 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
Fresh or dried dill (one head per jar) Wash and drain cucumbers. Combine sugar, salt, vinegar and water in a large sauce pot. Tie spices in a spice bag; add spice bag to vinegar mixture; simmer 15 minutes. Pack cucumbers into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace; put one head of dill in each jar. Ladle hot liquid over cucumbers, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints and quarts 15 minutes in a boiling water-canner. 

Recipe Variation:
For Kosher-Style pickles add 1 bay leaf, 1 clove garlic, 1 piece hot red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed to each jar. Process, same as above. Note: When cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.

 

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Cucumber Relish

Yield: about 6 pints
2 quarts chopped cucumbers (about 8 medium)
1/2 cup salt
2 cups chopped sweet green peppers (about 4 small)
4 quarts cold water, divided
2 cups chopped sweet red peppers (about 4 small)
1, 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 quart vinegar
1 tablespoon turmeric 2 sticks cinnamon
1 tablespoon mustard seed 2 teaspoons whole all-spice
2 teaspoon whole cloves

Combine vegetables in a large bowl; sprinkle with turmeric. Dissolve salt in 2 quarts cold water and pour over vegetables; let stand 3-4 hours. Drain; cover vegetables with 2 quarts cold water and let stand 1 hour. Drain thoroughly. Combine sugar and vinegar in a large sauce pot. Tie spices in a spice bag; add to sugar mixture. Bring to a boil; pour over vegetables. Cover; let stand 12-18 hours. Bring vegetables to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until hot throughout. Pack hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water-canner.

 

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Hot Pickle Mix

Yield: about 7 pints
1, 1/2 quarts 1/2 inch sliced pickling cucumbers
1, 1/2 quarts 1/2 inch sliced long red or green peppers
2 medium sweet green peppers, seeded and cut/strips
2 medium sweet red peppers, seeded and cut/strips
1, 1/2 cups sliced carrots (about 3 medium)
3 cups cauliflowerets (one small head)
1 cup peeled pearl onion
1, 1/2 cup canning salt
4 quarts plus 2 cups water, divided
3-4 jalapeno peppers or dried red pepper pods
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 cloves garlic
10 cups vinegar

Combine cucumbers, green and red peppers, carrots, caulifloweretes and onions. Dissolve salt in 4 quarts water. Pour salt water over vegetables; let stand 1 hour. Cut hot peppers in half; set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a large sauce pot; simmer 15 minutes. Discard garlic. Drain vegetables; rinse and drain thoroughly. Pack vegetables, except jalapeno, into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Add one piece jalapeno or red pepper pod to each jar. Ladle hot liquid over mixture, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water-canner. Note: When cutting or seeding hot peppers, wear rubber gloves to prevent hands from being burned.

 

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Sweet Gherkin Pickles

Yield: about 7 pints
8 pounds 1,1/2 - 2, 1/2 inch cucumbers
1/2 cup canning salt, divided
8 cups sugar, divided
6 cups vinegar, divided
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons whole mixed pickling spice
2 sticks cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon whole all-spice

Wash cucumbers; drain. Combine 6 quarts boiling water and 1/4 cup salt; pour over cucumbers. Let stand 6-8 hours or overnight. On the second day, drain. Combine 6 quarts boiling water and 1/4 cups salt; pour over cucumbers. Let stand overnight. On third day, drain. Prick cucumbers in several places. Combine 3 cups sugar, 3 cups vinegar and turmeric in large sauce pot. Tie whole spices in a spice bag and add to liquid. Bring to a boil. Pour hot liquid over cucumbers; let stand 6-8 hours. Drain cucumbers, reserving liquid. Add 2 cups sugar and 2 cups vinegar to liquid. Bring to a boil. Pour over cucumbers; let stand overnight. On fourth day, drain, reserving liquid. Add 2 cups sugar and 1 cup vinegar to reserved liquid; bring to boil. Pour over cucumbers; let stand 6-8 hours. Remove spice bag. Drain cucumbers, reserving liquid. Add 1 cup sugar to liquid; bring to a boil. Pack pickles into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Ladle hot liquid over pickles, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water-canner.

 

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Information on cucumbers

Cucumbers should be harvested no more than 48 hours before pickling. If preparation is delayed, the produce should be properly stored (refrigerated) until ready for use. 
 

Salt

Salt acts as a preservative and adds flavor and crispness to pickles. Brine draws sugar and juices from foods and forms lactic acid, a preservative. Pure granulated salt or canning and pickling salt should be used. Table salt and iodized salt have additives that prevent caking and may make the brine cloudy. Also, iodized table salt may darken pickles. 
 

Vinegar

Vinegar gives pickles a tart taste and acts as a preservative. For all pickle recipes, you should use high grade cider of white distilled vinegar of 5% acidity, sometimes listed as 50 grain. Cider vinegar with its mellow, acid taste, provides a nice blending of flavors, but may discolor or darken produce. White distilled vinegar provides a sharp, pungent, acid taste and will not darken of discolor produce. 
 

Sugar

Use granulated cane or beet sugar unless the recipe calls for another sweetener. 
 

Spices and Herbs

Spices and herbs flavor pickles. Adding immeasurably to their tastiness. Only fresh spices and herbs should be used. Whole fresh spices are preferred; dry, powdered and salt forms may cloud the pickling mixtures; but often, spices and herbs are tied in a cheesecloth and held in the solution to impart their flavor, similar to a tea bag. 
 

Water

Soft water must be used for making brine. The minerals in hard water will have a negative effect on the quality of pickles. If soft water is not available, water can be softened by boiling for 15 minutes and then letting it stand for 24 hours. Carefully remove scum from the top.. Add 1 T. vinegar per gallon of boiled water before using. Distilled water can also be used.

 

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