We like pickles around here, and I’m quite surprised that I’m not more tempted to double my output. It’s late in the season- we got a lot of rain this year, so I was fortunate to get cucumbers as late as midway September, but note to self: If you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for them, grow them yourself and harvest them early.
A lot of people ask me if I grow my own food…funny story about that. First, I have a black thumb. But secondly, I’m only allowed to container garden where I live. I moved just as I should have been planting things this year, so even if I had the energy, it wasn’t happening. Fortunately, my family has a small victory garden, and they were generous enough to share, but instead of basic canning adventures, this blog will be inundated with my container gardening adventures next year.
Are you ready? Don’t worry- we’ll do this together.
In the mean time, I’m doing lazy canning with you on this post. Lazy canning? No pressure cooker, no water bath.
You’re going to need lots of cucumbers- about 8lbs. Also about 3 large onions. Chop them up- I chop my sweet pickles into rounds, and my dill pickles into spears. You can measure out how many jars you’ll need by measuring the volume. It’s always better to have extra jars and lids on hand. I measured out to have 4 quarts and one pint, but when I compressed the pickles into the jars, I can out with 6 pints and 1 quart (8 quarts).
Once you chop the onions and cucumbers, put them in a large container, and cover them with a mix of one cup of pickling salt, and 2c of water. Swish them around in the water mixture, and put them in the refrigerator overnight. Don’t worry if you don’t get to them the next day. They’ll be ok for a day or two. My recipe says to cover them with ice cubes. Whatever. I’m not going through all of that. My pickles came out great. If you’re worried, you can double your salt and water mix.
Drain and rinse the pickles the next day under cold water. Put them aside (if you rinse out your container, you can put them back in there).
Clean and sterilize your jars by putting them in a big pot and bringing the water to a boil. The hotter everything is, the more successful your seal will be.
Bring your lids and rings to a boil and turn off the heat.
In a big pot (I used a stock pot), mix:
4c white vinegar
3c white sugar (I used raw cane sugar)
2c brown sugar
1/4t ground clove
2T mustard seed
1t celery seed
1tsp turmeric (remember- turmeric stains like you’d never believe, so be careful where you spill things or set your spoon down)
Bring this mix to a boil for 3 minutes, then add your cukes and onions. When the mix starts to bubble, time them to simmer for 15-20min until the cukes start to become transparent.
Turn off the heat, and pack them into the jars. Make sure there’s enough liquid to go up to 1/4in from the lid. You can really cram your pickles in, but take care not to crush them and make them mushy. Clean the edges of the jars with a rag, and add your lids and rings. Tighten well and BAM- you’re done!