Sunday, June 20, 2010

In a Pickle

Friday and Saturday, I put away 12 jars of pickles.  That does not include the pickles made on Thursday when I got pickle lessons from Trish.  I can't remember how many jars we got that day.  3 or 4 I think.   That may not seem like much, but let me tell you, I am pickled out!

It was fun the first day.  I made zucchini pickles.  It only called for 2 lbs of zucchini and made 3 pints.  The day wasn't overly busy.  I had that happy domestic goddess feeling.

Saturday.  Not fun.  I felt like a domestic hag.  I had way too much going on.  Do not make pickles when you have other things to do. The bottom line - I goofed.  The recipe called for 4 lbs of zucchini to make 7 pints.  I cut up 7 lbs of zucchini and ended up with 9 pints from this batch - it should have been more, but I ran out of pint jars.

The pickle recipe using zucchini is pretty much like this one.  I'm posting the one calling for cucumbers.  I'm writing it up with the correct amounts - not the amounts I used to make up for the fact that I had cut up way too many cucumbers.

Bread and Butter Pickles


  • 4 lbs 4-6 inch cucumbers
  • 2 lbs onions 
  • 1/3 cup salt

Slice the cucumbers and onions.  Put half of them in a very large bowl or pan.  Sprinkle with half the salt.  Then add the rest of the cucumbers and onions and finish with the rest of the salt.

Cover with ice cubes.

Set the timer for 1-1/2 hours.

While waiting, wash 7 pint jars.  Check the jar rims carefully to make sure there are no nicks.


Combine the following ingredients in a small pan and bring to a boil.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 TBS mustard seed
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 3 cups vinegar

When the timer goes off, remove any ice that hasn't melted.  Drain and rinse the cucumbers and onions.   Put them in a large pan.  Add the vinegar and spice mixture.  Return to a boil.

While waiting, wash the small pan and use it to sterilize the jar lids in boiling water.  Save this boiling water - it can be used shortly for processing.


Pack hot pickles and liquid into jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. 

Wipe off the tops of jars and attach the two piece jar lids.


Place rack on the bottom of the canner and fill halfway with water.  Note: you don't have to have a real canning pot to do this.  You won't be pressure cooking.  A really large tall pot with a lid will do.  You WILL need a metal rack of some sort to put the jars on .  They shouldn't sit right on the pot.  If you ARE using a canner, remove the overpressure plug & pressure regulator doe the lid.  Set aside.

Heat water.

Use jar lifter to place filled jars on cooking rack in canner. Check water level.  Add more boiling water if necessary, so the water is at least 1 inch above the jar tops.  That's why you need a really tall pot!

Place cover on pot. Process pickles for 10 minutes.   The 10 minutes starts when the water starts boiling.
Lower the heat setting to maintain a gentle boil throughout processing.  Add more water if necessary to keep the water level above the jars.

After 10 minutes, turn off heat.  Remove the pot lid.  Using a jar lifter, remove jars and place them on a towel, leaving at least a 1 inch space between jars during cooling.  It won't be long before you'll hear the jar lids start popping.  There's a small bump on the lid.  Once it pops, that bump is gone.  Some will pop faster than others.  If it never pops, then that can of pickles should be refrigerated and eaten first.

Note: I have this canning kit.  It really comes in handy - especially the jar lifter and the funnel. 

Allow jars to cool naturally 12 to 24 hours before checking for a seal.  Do not re-tighten bands.

It's best to wait 4 to 6 weeks for the pickles to cure and develop a satisfactory flavor.

If you follow directions better than I did, you will have 7 pints jars of pickles instead of 9.  One of my favorite things to do with these is to dice them up and use in salads - tuna salad, chicken salad, and egg salad.  Most people just enjoy snacking on them. 

These would make nice gifts, too - especially with a cute label.  Hmmmm.  Maybe I'll make one more batch.

I've linked up to these parties:

Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming
Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots and Jello
Check Me Out Saturdays at I Am Only One Woman
Sunday Scoop at I Heart Naptime


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