What do you do when life gives you cucumbers? You make pickles, that's what you do!
I have a bunch (I mean a bunch) of cucumbers growing in my straw bale garden so I was so glad that Gloria at Laundry Etc chose Curcubits for this month's tigress can jam theme.
The cucumbers have taken over my garden.
They started choking out the peppers. They grabbed them with their tentacles and the poor little peppers were helpless. So I rerouted the cucumbers up the side of the garden fence so they would grab hold of it instead of the peppers.
Then they started growing down.
And all around. Needless to say, I needed to do something with these cucumbers so I decided to make some pickles for this month's challenge.
Although I have a bunch of cucumbers, I don't have a huge amount at any one time so I chose a dill pickle recipe that didn't call for 20 pounds of cucumbers.
Quick Dill Pickles
Yield: 3 Quarts
Recipe adapted from Keeping The Harvest: Discover the Homegrown Goodness of Putting Up Your Own Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs by Nancy Chioff & Gretchen Mead.
3 cups white vinegar
3 cups water
1/3 cup canning salt
4 pound cucumbers, washing and cut into spears
6 heads dill or 6 tablespoons dill seed
3 peeled garlic cloves (optional)
*I made these dill pickles even quicker by using several tablespoons of pickling spice from the farmer's market instead of the ingredients in italics above.
Combine vinegar, water, and salt and heat to boiling.
Pack cucumbers into hot, clean quart jars. I couldn't get all of the cucumbers to fit into 3 jars so I packed them into 4 quart jars and made a little more pickling syrup. Add to each jar 2 heads dill or 2 tablespoons dill seed, 1 clove garlic, and 3 peppercorns. Or, in my case, add the pickling spice.
Fill the jars with the hot pickling syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Adjust lids.
Process in a boiling-water-bath canner for 15 minutes, up to 1,000 feet altitude. If you live in a higher altitude or need more detailed instructions on water-bath canning, please refer to the instructions on this site: National Center for Home Preservation.
Remove the jars from the canner and let them sit on the counter until the seals set. Then move them to storage.
This recipe doesn't really say how long you have to wait so I guess I'll wait a few weeks and then try them to see how they taste. This is the hard part. I want to eat them now...
We're making jams or pickling every month in 2010. For more info, go to tigress can jam. Be sure to check out the July Can Jam Roundup. I can't wait to see what everyone does with their curcubits this month!
Happy Canning and Baking!
Here are some of the references I use in my canning adventures. You might enjoy them as well: