My little baby-sugar daughter's spouse happens to like the sweet and tangy pickles I make, so every time I give him some, he eats them with relish. Well, not pickle relish of course; that would be redundant, but he definitely delights in eating them. As I dote on them as much as he, I plant a garden to grow my own pickles, so I plant some, like these:
Here is my little garden plot, devoted to my son-in-law’s pickle supply. As you can see, some are already finished.
Since I’m growing the pickles I think why not grow the jars too. I plant pint jars and already some have grown into quart-size.
Here they are
Oh look, one is filled with pickles already.
Putting up your own sweet and tangy pickles is a good idea since you control the ingredients and can tweak the spice amounts to your taste. For instance, try star anise or a cardamom pod in a batch if you like. Here is the way I do it.
Adapted from: Retro Barbecue, Linda Everett, Collectors Press,
, 2002 Portland, OR
Sweet and Tangy Pickle Slices
Ingredients: Makes 10 pints
7 pounds cucumbers, washed and cut into slices *
2 gallons cold water
2 cups dehydrating lime (for canning)
6 cups apple cider vinegar
4 pounds plus 1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 ½ teaspoons pickling spices
1 teaspoon mustard seed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon whole cloves
- Place the sliced cucumbers, the canning lime and the cold water in a big stainless steel bowl.
- Mix gently to combine
- Let the cucumbers set in a cool place for 24 hours
- Stir occasionally
- After the 24 hour period, drain the cucumbers and rinse well.
- Cover the cucumbers with more cold water and let sit for 3 hours
- Drain well
- In a large saucepan or pot, put in the remaining ingredients
- Stir to thoroughly dissolve sugar while bringing to simmer
- Let the syrup mixture cool
- When cool, pour over the cucumbers
- Let sit overnight
- Next day, bring the cucumbers and syrup to simmering
- Gently cook for about 25 minutes, when cucumbers become transparent
- Boil plenty of water to sterilize canning jars, seals and lids as well as to submerge the filled jars
- Carefully remove the jars, seals and lids and proceed to fill jars with cucumbers
- Seal jars and process in the boiling water for 10 minutes.(if your pot is not large enough to hold all the jars, then do in batches)
- Remove from water and they are done
There is a certain sequence to this pickling procedure but it is not difficult. All you need is a big pot to hold the jars covered in boiling water, the jars, lids and the ingredients listed.
Last year I had an abundance of pears on my trees and made a lovely pear relish, so you may want to “can” other fruits and vegetables. I had plenty many tomatoes last year and made a couple gallons of home-made tomato sauce, which was a blessing. It is not difficult to “can”, so, yes you can “can”. You can start with these Sweet and Tangy Pickles; you won’t believe how great they taste, on sandwiches, with bread and butter or right out of the jar like bro’ in law.
* Look for pickling type cucumbers; they are smallish with “bumps” on them. Most importantly be sure they do not have a wax coating on them.