It’s What’s Cookin’? Wednesday!
Now that summer has finally arrived (or at least that’s what the calendar says!), back yards, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets are chock full of fresh fruits and veggies!
Last year we planted just TWO cucumber plants and it produced more cucumbers than I knew what to do with!
Because of their high water content, cucumbers don’t freeze well and a person can only eat so many cucumber salads before the “mmmmmm… cucumber salad!” turns into “ugh… cucumber salad, again?!?
Since moving out to the country a couple of years ago, this “city girl” has been slowwwwwwwwly eeking her way into the “country girl” lifestyle. You know what they say… “When in Rome…”…
Ok… so there’s a little more to it than that. Raising two kids with ADHD, and a host of other “issues”, I’ve been looking for healthy alternatives to significantly reduce or completely eliminate the amount of medications that are supposed to help keep them on track.
What better way to start than with their diet, right?!?
I like growing our own food because then I know for SURE what’s in it… or more importantly, what’s NOT in it! Even though I’m still a “novice”… I like canning or freezing our fresh fruits and vegetables! And I LOVE being able to go to my pantry in the middle of winter and see all that GOOD stuff sitting on the shelves… it’s soooooooo purdy! It’s also a huge savings to the food budget 😉
So what else can you do with a boat-load of fresh cucumbers?!? You pickle them, of course!
Here is another recipe that I “borrowed” from my niece… her grandma’s bread & butter pickles!
I tried these out for the first time last year, and they were DELICIOUS! I thought they should’ve been a little “crunchier” than they were, but like I said… I’m still a novice at this whole canning-thing. In hindsight, I think I just let my cucumbers get a little too ripe for pickling, so this year I’ll just harvest them earlier and see what happens!
- 12 cucumbers
- 6 onions
- 1/2 cup canning/pickling salt
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons celery seed
- 4 cups white vinegar
- Wash and slice cucumbers to your desired thickness
- Wash and thinly slice onions
- In a large container, combine cucumbers, onions, and canning/pickling salt
- Cover with crushed ice and mix well; cover with a towel and let stand for 2-3 hours
- When cucumbers are "ready", drain the saltwater, then rinse and drain again
- In a Dutch oven combine remaining ingredients, bring to boil, and let boil for 1 minute
- Carefully add the cucumber and onions, return to a boil to heat all ingredients thoroughly, then remove from heat
- Ladle hot mixture into hot sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and cover with sterilized lids and rings
- Process for 15 minutes (or as directed for your specific geographic location) in a boiling water canner
- Let sit untouched in a cool area for 24 hours
Naturally, you should follow all of the usual canning precautions and test all lids to be sure that they sealed properly before storing any canned foods. I've been told that if a lid did NOT seal, then it should still be safe to consume IF it is immediately refrigerated and eaten within a week or so, but I'm sure those with more canning experience than I have already know the safety procedure for this...
Depending on the size of your cucumbers, this should yield between 5-7 pints.
A jar of homemade bread & butters pickles makes such a nice addition to cookout, reunion, and holiday menus! Add a pretty little label and a bow, along with another jar or two of something else that you’ve canned from the garden, place in a basket, and you’ve got yourself some nice gift baskets for birthdays and holidays!
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