Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Peck Of Pickle Recipes

Yesterday I showed you this photo of my canning cupboard.  This is what I canned, from left to right, top to bottom:

Maple Syrup, Fruited Chili Sauce, Corn, Dill Pickles, Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, Peach Jam, Baby Dill Pickles, Peach Salsa, Pickled Banana Peppers and Society Pickles.

When I was young most Sunday evenings were spent at my grandparent's house for dinner.  Grandma always made so much that, no matter how many people dropped by, there was always plenty to eat.  We kids would help set the table which always included a tray of her homemade pickles.  There was usually only half a tray left by the time dinner was actually served as kids and adults alike were scolded by Grandma to get out of the pickle tray.  She always did it with a smile.  Looking back I'm pretty sure the pickle tray went on the table early to keep us from being under foot in her tiny kitchen. 

The first recipe that I'm sharing is for Grandma's Society Pickles.  These are 8 day pickles that make your home smell amazing when boiling the syrup on the last few days.  The smell reminds me of my beloved Grandmother.

Society Pickles

1 gallon of dill sized cucumbers (cut off the ends and scrub) - 1 gallon = about 5 pounds

Pour cucumbers into a pot of freshly boiled water each day for 4 days.  Drain off old water and use new water each day.  On the 5th day drain off all the water and cut the cucumbers into chunks.


4 cups of cider vinegar
8 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of pickling spice wrapped in cheese cloth or some other clean material
2 tablespoons of pickling salt (do not use table salt during canning as it will make the pickles cloudy)
1 teaspoon of green food colouring

Bring syrup to a boil and pour over the cucumbers each day for 3 days.  I used a small sieve to scoop the cucumbers each day out of the pot.  I then brought the syrup to a boil.  Once the syrup was boiling I turned off the heat and poured the cucumbers back in.  On the 4th day take the cucumbers out of the syrup and put them into clean canning jars.  Bring the syrup to a boil and pour over the cucumbers leaving 1/2" head space at the top.  Discard the bag of pickling spice.  Place jars in a boiling water bath and process for 15 minutes.  Take jars out and let them cool on the counter.  Check the lids to make sure that they sealed.  Any not sealed can be boiled again or put into the fridge until you are ready to use them.

Dill Pickles

1 quart of dill sized cucumbers (the ones pictured above are smaller for baby dills but you can use whatever size you like for your pickles)
5 or 6 cloves of garlic
Fresh dill heads

2 cups of vinegar
6 cups of water
1/2 cup pickling salt (do not use table salt as it will result in cloudy pickles)

Scrub cucumbers and cut off both ends (it is important to cut off the bud end as it contains an enzyme that will make your pickles mushy - I tend to cut off both ends just to be safe).  Place one clove of garlic and a dill head in the bottom of clean canning jars.  If the dill is larger you can use half a head.  Pack in the cucumbers, not too tight.  Add another clove of garlic to the top of the jar and more dill if needed (the large jars of dills on the top shelf have 2 cloves of garlic in the bottom and 2 on top along with dill on both the top and the bottom - the smaller jars of baby dills just have one medium sized head of dill on the bottom only and 1 clove of garlic on to top and bottom of the jars).  Bring the vinegar, water and pickling salt to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Pour over the cucumbers leaving 1/2 head space in the jars.  Place lids on the jars and put in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Take jars out and cool on the counter.  Check all jars to make sure that they are sealed properly.  Any that did not seal should go into the fridge.  Dill pickles will be ready after 8 weeks of sitting in the brine.

Pickled Banana Peppers

1 quart of banana peppers

4 cups of water
1/2 cup pickling salt (do not use table salt as it will result in cloudy pickles)
3 cups of water
1 tsp. of dried oregano
4 tsp. of dried basil
1 1/2 cups vinegar
5-6 cloves of garlic

Wash the banana peppers.  This next part is all depends on your preferences.  If your banana peppers are too large to fit into the jars that you wish to use, then cut them in half and take out the seeds.  I actually cut them into quarters so that they would fit into my jars.  If the peppers are small you can leave them whole and just poke them once with a fork so that the liquid penetrates the pepper.  Be advised though that leaving in the seeds will make the peppers hotter than if you take them out.  Combine the 4 cups of water and the 1/2 cup pickling salt and heat in a pot on the stove just until the salt dissolves.  Let cool and pour over your prepared peppers.  Allow them to sit overnight.

The next day drain off the peppers and rinse well.  Pack peppers into clean jars along with one clove of garlic.  In a pot on the stove combine the 3 cups of water, oregano, basil and vinegar and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes and pour over peppers in the jar leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Place lids on jars and place them in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Take jars out and cool on the counter.   Check all jars to make sure that they are sealed properly. Any that did not seal should go into the fridge.  Peppers should be ready to eat in 6 - 8 weeks.  They taste very similar to the ones that the Olive Garden uses in their house salad.

1 comment:

  1. Oh the memories of my grandmother's canning! I clearly recall hiding under the table until her back was turned so I could dip my finger in the sugar bowl. Joke was on me...it was alum in the bowl...SO SOUR..!