Monday, September 01, 2008

Pickle season!

We tried a new cuke variety at Seven Trees this year, the Little Leaf. We chose it because it was supposed to be disease resistant and a prolific producer of pickling cukes. Our ended up with some kind of disease, though with the wet spring and cold summer, I'm not surprised. We still managed 20 quarts of pickles so far, and plenty of fresh cukes for salad. Newt, ever-helpful, is inspecting my picking results.

When I wash the cukes, I also scrub off the spines.

Then the ends get nipped off. If you leave the blossom end on, it produces an enzyme that will turn the pickles mushy.

The lids and jar rings are boiled for 10 minutes, and I sterilize the jars by placing them in the oven at 250F for 10 minutes. (Most people use boiling water or a dishwasher to sterilize jars, but in our small kitchen it saves a lot space to do it this way.)
Each jar gets a clove ot two of garlic, some fresh dill flowers, and 1/4 tsp of alum. We tried all kinds of recipes that didn't use alum, but none of them resulted in crisp pickles. So back to the tried and true, old-fashioned recipe from D's mom.
Each jar is packed tightly with cukes, carefully, since they are still hot.
Then I fill it up with boiling brine.
Seal the jars.
And listen for the happy sound of the lids popping as they seal.

Our recipe:

In each sterilized jar put - 1 stalk dill weed

1/4 tsp alum (look in the spice/baking section of your grocery store)

1 or 2 cloves peeled garlic

Pack jar with washed, trimmed cukes, cover with hot brine & seal. Store in cool, dry place for 6 weeks or longer before eating. If any jars don't seal, keep them in the fridge and enjoy.


1 1/2 quarts white vinegar

3 1/2 quarts water

1 cup regular salt

You can halve the recipe if needed, and we save leftover brine to use if we're going to make more pickles within the week.


Anonymous said...

yummy yummy.

my japanese cucumbers are so bitter they aren't even suitable to feed a goat.

Anonymous said...

Newt! Newt! Newt!


Anonymous said...

I am going to try to do those. They look good.