Tuesday, June 5, 2012


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, Portland, OR, 2002

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.


Joyce said...

I mention pickles in this week's Hodgepodge. Will have to give these a try! I like any kind of pickle.

Anonymous said...

We're building similar plant wooden thingies (not sure what they;'re called) for the kids to teach them about plants, responsibility, following through to the end, and of course eating the rewards.

Joanne said...

LOVED this post!!!! Very very clever!!!
Blessings, Joanne

Purabi Naha said...

Wonderful pictures... I loved the pickle...so full of flavours!

Delicious Adventures said...

loved the humour of jars. I miss the pickles here...will definitely try this recipe.
-Delicious Adventures

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post! : )

Lynn Proctor said...

i have been seeing a lot of people answering the pickle questions today--these sound great!

anthony stemke said...

JOYCE: I like a lot of different pickles too but these particular ones are just about my personal favourite.

STEPHEN TREMP: I am happy to hear about this, it is a good teching tool (photosynthesis, chlorophyll etc)and if you grew it, you more likely want to eat it. With the price of capsicum, I'm glad I'm growing my own bell peppers.
Best regards Stephen.

JOANNE: Thank You Joanne.

PURABI NAHA: Thank You, these crisp, tangy pickles are a great aperative and taste wonderful.

DELICIOUS ADVENTURES: I hope you do try these, they are seriously good.

SUSANNE DRAZIC: Thank You Susanne.

My Journey With Candida said...

I am going to plant some jars beside my tomatoes and see if I get juice or sauce.

Very cute post Anthony!

baygirl32 said...

fun post!

umm pickles

anthony stemke said...

MY JOURNEY WITH CANDIDA: Sauce would be good. cm

BAYGIRL32: Thanks. I love these pickles.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

I have many memories of helping my Grandma and Grandpa "can" in the 70s. Many hot, boiling, scalding memories. Fond memories? Not so much.
They sound wonderful, though. :)
You're a nut over there, growing mason jars in your garden. :)

Anonymous said...

Bunnies have taken over our garden, only now I think I need to make pickles. Lots and lots of lovely pickles.

Sonali Pradhan said...

delicious pickle with cucumber !!!n a must try for me :-)bookmarked !!!!!

Jean said...

very cool! jean

cookingvarieties said...

hi antony, how are you. this recipe is great, very different from the usual. bookmarked with thanks. you look very happy with your plot . ha ha. happy gardening. have a nice day

Sarah Allen said...

Ooh, yum :) I'm a sweet pickle fan myself.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

anthony stemke said...

DAWN @ lIGHTEN UP: I regret that your early canning experience was scalding, I only started a year ago and it was not difficult.I suppose canning is not for everybody.

GENE POOL DIVA: We have a rabbit on our grounds, I see him on the front lawn and when he notices me he freezes. I think he is the one who is eating my raspberries and strawberries. I like to see him (or her, I didn't get that close) on the lawn though. Pickles are good and I like to drink a jigger of the pickle juice every couple of days.

SONALI: These pickles are delicious, either on sandwiches or in tuna salad or egg salad or just plain out of the jar like my son-in-law likes them. Please enjoy them.

JEAN: Thanks Jean.

COOKING VARIETIES: Thank You, I have three other plots like that.These pickles are really good. I never have tasted any store-bought as good. Regards.

SARAH ALLEN: You would really like these.

Missed Periods said...

That sounds like a great recipe, but I think I am going to get the ones that grow straight into the jar!

Lynda R Young said...

Your garden plot looks so wonderfully weed free. I'm both impressed and jealous! ;)

LoLy said...

LOL, I wasnt one of those plants too :p

anthony stemke said...

MISSED PERIODS: Those are the easiest for sure. cm

LYNDA R YOUNG: Weeds are a hassle. I'm pulling them all the time from my other plots. Thank you for your kind words, your blog is impressive.

LOLY: I planted special pint jars, which grew into quart size, and then magically filled up with sliced sweet ans tangy pickles, In My Dreams. cm

Malli said...

Must be nice to have some fresh crisp pickles handy in your pantry:)

anthony stemke said...

MALLI: Yes, it is nice. This morning I processed some peaches from my trees into peach preserves, which is great to use when making barbecue sauce.
Thanks for calling;best regards.

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Misha Gericke said...

I'm not a fan of pickles, but pear relish sounds wonderful. My grandmother made an apple chutney a few days ago, which I'm assuming is the same concept. :-)

anthony stemke said...

MISHA GERICKE: The pear relish is chopped pear in a sweet and spicy vinegar. I spread it on bread for sandwiches, so yea, I assume it is like a chutney.
Best regards Misha.

anthony stemke said...


Manzanita said...


You are one of the clever. And here, I was buying my jars.

I haven't tasted a sweet/tart pickle in almost forever. I used to love them with a certain pasta/hamburger dish I made when my kids were little and money was scarce but everyone always cleaned their plate, which meant they liked it.

Lizzy said...

Too funny! I love sweet pickles and remember eating the version my aunt and grandmother would make when we visited them in the summer. So much better than what you can purchase. I may have to venture into canning one of these days~

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Fun post... I really MUST try planting some pint jars in the garden! I used to do a lot of canning years ago, but not any more. But you, dear sir, have inspired me. Think I'm gonna make a small batch of bread-and-butters this week. With onions. Oh, and thanks for your comment on my blog. I've had a fantabulous break, thank you, and will get back to posting on Wednesday. (Just eeeeeasing back into it today.)

anthony stemke said...

MANZANITA: From time to time I used to purchase bread and butter pickles at the store and they were fine, until I started making these. I slice them a little thickly which means I have to slice them in half to put on sandwiches, but I don't mind a bit becaiuse they are that much good.
Best regards Manzanita.

LIZZY: When you do you will want to do it all the time. Forget about the pride of making them, or the savings in price; they are just so very much better. A friend said I just look for reasons to stay in the kitchen longer but I just love making these pickles, and my daughter's spouse is crazy about them.

SUSAN FLETT SWIDERSKY: Canning is not difficult, directions are everywhere. And yours with onions, oy, they going to be good yea.
So happy to hear from you.

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