Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

2013’s First Pickles!

on May 2, 2013

I’ve been neglecting this blog lately, for that you have my apologies. If you don’t find gun ownership offensive, you can see what I’ve been working on at dreamofagun.wordpress.com. I’m chronicling my thoughts on gun ownership and my personal journey as I become more proficient and educated in how to use my firearm.

That being said… let’s get back to pickles! Last year I learned that I love making pickles. The house reeks of vinegar for a few days but I actually kinda like the smell. I made fresh pack pickles the last couple of times so I wanted to try my hand at a brined pickle.

I pulled this recipe from one of my favorite home preservation books. It’s called Stocking Up: How to Preserve the Foods You Grow Naturally by the Editors of Organic Gardening and Farming (page 174). My copy is from 1977. I found it at abebooks.com and it cost about $5. (ABE is a great website for finding old or used books for not very much money.) The recipe is titled “Old-fashioned Cucumber Chunks.”

The recipe is a bit different than most pickle recipes. You either fresh pack (raw cucumbers go into jars with boiling liquid, then sealed) or fermented (cucumbers go into a crock with a water/salt solution for several weeks). This recipe starts out with brining the cucumbers for 36 hours. Then soaking them in a spiced vinegar/honey mix, straining, boiling and soaking again, and finally on day four, packing them in jars. So… here’s the actual recipe and some pictures.

Recipe

1 gallon cucumbers, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 1/2 cuts salt

9 cups vinegar

water

2 TB mixed pickling spices

2 cups honey

Wash, dry and cut cucumbers into 1″ pieces before measuring. Put in crock  or large container. Dissolve salt in 1 gallon water. Pour over cucumbers. Cover with plate and weight so that cucumbers remain submerged in the brine. Let stand 36 hours.

Drain. Pour 4 ups vinegar over the cucumbers, add enough water to cover. Simmer 10 minutes. Drain and discard liquid.

Add spices (tied into a bag) to 3 cups of water and 5 cups of vinegar.  Simmer 10 minutes. Add 1 cup honey. Pour over the cucumbers. Let stand 24 hours.

Drain syrup into kettle. Add remaining honey. Heat to boiling. Pour over cucumbers. Let stand 24 hours.

Pack pickles into hot, sterilized jars. Heat syrup to boiling and pour over pickles, leave 1/4 inch headspace. If there is not enough liquid to cover pickles, add more vinegar. Adjust seals and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Yield: 4 quarts

Now.. here’s some pictures.

picklesday1

Here you can see my cucumber chunks submerged under a plate. This method is used for most brined pickle recipes and other fermented foods such as sauerkraut.

picklecrock

Here’s a shot of the whole crock. This is a 3 gallon (I think) stoneware crock that was my mom’s. She was generous enough to gift it to me. She’s had it for as long as I can remember.

picklesday3

This is day three of pickle making (tonight). Here the cucumbers are back in their spiced vinegar mix. You’ll notice that they’ve taken on a slightly grey color. This is from the simmering process that happened last night which cooked them slightly.

I’ll be finishing these up tomorrow night and I’ll post pictures of them in the jars.

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