Thursday, July 26, 2012

In A Pickle

One very, very hot day last week my Twin Sister and I went picking.
She picked some nice green and yellow beans.
Wash them.
Blanch them.
Stick them in a bag and toss them in your freezer.
She did add an extra step and laid the blanched beans out on a cookie sheet and individually froze them before tossing them in a bag in the freezer. (overachiever)
Her produce was promptly taken care of.

I picked cucumbers.
Then I sat and dreaded admired them for days.

Today we FINALLY had a cooler day and I FINALLY took care of the cucumbers!

I made three different kinds of pickles.

The cucumbers I was able to pick were getting pretty big.
Last year I made a Dill Relish, which has become a family favorite.
Big cucumbers work the best for the relish.

I slice the cucumbers lengthwise and cut out all of the seeds.
Then I dice them up one by one.....NOT!

My Grandma Bonnie thought these onion choppers were the best kitchen tool.
She made sure my sisters and I each got one.
Even though I don't use it for chopping onions, I LOVE it for making relish!

If you don't have an onion chopper, you can use a food processor. 

Dill Pickle Relish
4 lb cucumbers
1/4 cup pickling salt (you must use non-iodized salt or it will turn a nasty color)
1/2 tsp turmeric (I used ground)
2 cups white vinegar (5%)
1/3 cup sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced (I used the jar stuff) 
1 Tbsp dill seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 cups onions
Scrub cucumbers and trim off ends and cut into chunks. In batches in a food processor, pulse cucumbers and onions 8 to 10 times to cut into 1/8 to 1/4″ pieces.
In a large bowl, sprinkle cucumbers with salt and turmeric. Stir in 1 cup cold water and let stand for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Drain in large sieve. Rinse under cold water and drain again, pressing out moisture.
On a large saucepan bring vinegar, sugar, garlic, dill seeds and mustard seeds to a boil. Add cucumber mixture, return to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
Ladle into half pint jars leaving a 1/2″ headspace. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Adjust time according to altitude.
Makes About: 3 pints

The smaller of the cucumbers I stuffed into jars and made my favorite 

Garlic Dill Pickles

In the bottom of a quart jar:
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon canning salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
Dill (I used 2 teaspoons dill seed)
1/2 cup cider vinegar

Pack in cucumbers
Fill with fairly hard water
Process in hot water bath 15 min.

(I also made some chunk pickles using this recipe.....last year I made burger slices)

With the medium size cucumbers I made a batch of 

Refrigerator Pickles

8 cups sliced cucumbers
1 onion sliced
1/4 cup canning salt
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 cup vinegar
2 cups sugar

These will shrink down and then you can put them into smaller containers in your refrigerator.

I didn't put the canning supplies too far away, I am thinking next week my sister might want to borrow them....
while I am freezing beans!  :)


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