This past Tuesday morning I went out to inspect the garden to see what might be ready to harvest. I noticed some cucumbers that were ready for pickling. I had planted one bunch of Straight Eight cukes for salads and five mounds of the Boston Pickling variety for canning. The summer here on the Bold Coast had been very dry and the garden did not fair well. After the melons (which didn’t come in at all) the cucumbers were the hardest hit — none of the Straight Eights produced any fruit and among the five mounds of BP were only about 14 cucumbers, most were malformed and discolored, but they looked ok for pickling. Two of them were large enough for salads, but I picked the other twelve — and because they were a little over-sized and malformed for pickling whole or as spears — I decided to make chips for hamburgers and other sandwiches.
I had made “refrigerator” pickles in the past but this was my first attempt at “pantry” pickles. So I did a quick web search and found a versatile recipe that I liked because it used apple cider vinegar instead of wine vinegar, which I can make at home.
This is how I made them:
- 4 lbs. of (11 small) cucumbers
- 12 tsp. of dill seed mix
- 4 cups of apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups of water
- 6 tbsp. of pickling salt
- 3-quart stock pot
- Measuring spoons
- Wooden spoon
- 8 pint jars with lids
First, I sterilized the pint jars by putting them on the stove-top to boil for 10 minutes. Then, I cleaned and cut the pickles into “coins” or “chips”. When the jars were done I added 1 1/2 tsp. each of the dill seed mix to the jars, then put the pickles in them.
After that, I added the apple cider vinegar, water, and pickling salt to the stock pot and brought it to a roiling boil. Then I poured the brine over the pickles, making sure to leave 1/4 inch of head space.
Then I secured the lids to the jars with the screw-caps and placed in a boiling water bath for five minutes. I removed them from the water immediately and placed them on a towel to cool. Afterwhich, I put them in the pantry (any cool dark place will do). I understand they’ll keep for a year or more.