That Pickling Time of Year…
Toby and I have debated using my inherited hot water bath and canning jars for some time. The whole thing seemed foreign, dangerous, and a little time consuming to be honest. It furthered our apprehension when we read that the hot water bath could only be used to can acidic fruit or vegetables (i.e. pickling). One day on our ritual trip to the local farm stand/ petting zoo- Frog Pond, we saw a peck of cucumbers for sale, right next to them was a package of pickling spices- we looked at each other and both lit up. “Okay let’s do this thing,” we thought.
We decided the try bread and butter pickles for our first attempt. Although we used a mix, I will publish the recipe I found for the spices below if you want to try your own.
You will also need vinegar, and sugar- plenty of them. We only used about half of the cucumbers and yielded 4 pints and 3 quarts of pickles. Canning directions also included below:
Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe
Start with the freshest pickling cucumbers you can find; your pickles are only going to be as good as the produce you start with. The fresher the cucumbers are, the crispier your pickles will be.
• 2 1/2 lbs pickling cucumbers (fresh from the market)
• 1/4 cup pickling salt (can use Kosher salt as a substitute, regular table salt has additives in it that will turn the pickles dark and muddy the color of the pickle juice)
• 1 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar (5% acidity)
• 1 cup apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
• 2 1/4 cups sugar
• 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
• 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
• 1 inch cinnamon stick
• 6 allspice berries plus a pinch of ground allspice
• 6 whole cloves plus a pinch of ground cloves
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
If you are planning to store pickles outside of refrigerator, you will need the following canning equipment:
• 5 pint-sized canning jars, clean, unused lids, metal screw bands for the lids (see Canning jars and lids)
• 1 16-qt canning pot with rack
• Jar lifters or tongs
We haven’t tried them yet, but we did give some away to friends and got rave reviews!