I got my hands on 15 gorgeous, gigantic English cucumbers this weekend. They needed a home, so I took ’em. I had them stacked like firewood in my fridge until today. Today, they went on to their new purpose in life. They became some awesome looking pickles. I made two varieties. First, a pretty traditional dill recipe. Here it is:
7 jarswide-mouth quart, lids & rings
fresh dill, heads & several inches of stems shaken free of bugs
cucumbers, washed, scrubbed
1 garlic cloves (or more)
8 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup pickling salt Directions
GET ALL OF THIS GOING BEFORE FILLING THE JARS.
Wash 7 quart jars in hot, soapy water (or dishwasher), rinse and fill with hot water; set aside.
Fill canning kettle half-full with hottest tap water; set on burner over high heat.
In a medium saucepan, fit lids and rings together, cover with water, bring to a simmer.
In a large saucepan, bring water, vinegar and salt to boil; turn off the heat; set aside.
FILL JARS: place a layer of dill at the bottom of each jar, along with one garlic clove (if used), then TIGHTLY load the cukes into the jar to the NECK of the jar (depending on size you may get two nice layers with a few small cukes in the top–)—squeeze cukes into the jar tightly–uniform size helps; add a few TINY spriglets of dill at the top, too, and another garlic clove if desired.
Once jars are loaded, pour in the brine leaving half-inch head space in each jar.
Add lid and ring to each jar, tightening evenly.
Place jars into canner with water JUST to the necks of the jars.
Bring water ALMOST to a boil (about 15 minutes–depending on how fast it heats up).
Remove jars, set on a dish towel on the kitchen counter, cover with another dish towel & let cool.
Check for seal (indented lid), label jars or lids, store in cool dark cellar or cupboard.
Here they are…I ended up with 5 quarts.
1 lb fresh blueberries or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons lemons, rind of grated
Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan.
Stir over medium heat until cornstarch dissolves.
Boil until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
Cover and refrigerate.
**I trippled the recipe and processed 3 pints for 10 minutes using the water bath method.
I made more pickles
I LOVE sweet Bread and Butter pickles. Wyatt hates them. But since I had so many cukes, I decided I was worth a couple of them. And I made a batch just for me! Here’s the recipe:
15 cups pickling cucumbers sliced
3 onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarse salt
4 cups cracked ice
2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
Combine cucumbers, onions, salt and ice in a large bowl.
Put a weight on and allow to stand 3 hours. (For a weight, I use a plate with a gallon bottle of vinegar or water on top of it).
Combine vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed and mustard seed in a large pot.
Add drained cucumbers.
Place pot on medium low heat.
Bring almost to a boil, but DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL.
Remove from heat.
Seal in sterilized jars, 10 minutes in a hot water bath.
Easy way to sterilize jars: Wash them well in hot soapy water.
Dry them off.
Put on a cookie sheet, right side up, at 225°F for 15 minutes.
Turn off oven and leave them in there until you need them.
**I decided to try to make 2 of the 3 quarts “hubby friendly” so I added 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes to give them a little kick. We’ll see if her likes them. Here they are.