Yesterday, I made pickles, thanks to a recipe sent to me by "Rhonda from Baddeck" (unfortunately blogless but always so nice in the comments) and also because I wanted to do it before the house cleaners came in case I exploded something.
Here's how that went (my editorial comments are in "cucumber" green):
Bread & Butter Pickles
Prepare canning jars & lids – hold in a pot of just-under-boiling water. (I put mine in the dishwasher and used the SANITIZE setting. Because I am lazy.)
2 qts (after slicing) of unpeeled cucumbers sliced very thin (if they’re small, keep the seeds – if not, scoop the seeds out and slice up what’s left. Appearance isn’t critical.)
(HAH, if they're SMALL! I've got cucumbers here bigger than my first apartment. In fact, I have such large cukes that I can make this entire recipe with two of them. I decided to double the recipe in order to use up more cukes.)
2 medium white onions, sliced in half and then very thin
2-1/2 Tablespoons Kosher / pickling salt
Put cukes & onions in large bowl, sprinkle salt over them and then cover with ice water. Put in refrigerator for 3 hours to “brine.”
(Look, here they all are, brining madly. Wait a minute! What's missing from this picture?
Oh yeah, the ONIONS.
Dang it! It would sure help if I could read.
5 cups sugar (Which, when doubled is TEN FREAKING CUPS OF SUGAR. This is what ten cups of sugar looks like in the pot.That's a lot of sugar right there.)
3 cups cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons mustard seed
1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1-1/2 teaspoons celery seed
Combine juice ingredients in large pot and bring to a simmer. Drain cukes/onions and add to pot. Bring to medium boil and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. With a slotted spoon (and a canning funnel), put pickles loosely in jars until half- or 2/3 full. Fill with juice to 1/4 “ from top.(I have no pictures of this because A) I have no canning funnel and B) withOUT a canning funnel, you sling a fair amount of really hot stuff about, causing some of it to land on your skin and make you curse. Er, hypothetically.)
Wipe rims (inside & out), tighten lids and invert for 5 minutes.
The pickles will continue to absorb the juice, which is why you don’t want to pack the jars too full. Give them a few days to “marinate” (if you can wait that long). If pickles don't seal (distinctive "pop" and lid is depressed), put them in the refrigerator and eat them first.
I didn't hear the pop but the lids look depressed--downright suicidal --so I think they turned out okay. I will say that I think I chopped something wrong because these don't really look like pickles so much as some sort of relish you might eat on crackers or hot dogs or something. Oooh, I bet they'd be fabulous in chopped salad.
I tried to take some artsy pictures of the row of jars with the sun shining through them, turning them golden and luminous but, um, the sun is not shining because it is raining (shocker) and besides, how beautiful can a jar of pickles really be?I decided to go with supermodels posing with the pickles.
Thank you, Rhonda!!!