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Gardening Articles: Health :: Cooking

Pickling Cucumbers (page 3 of 3)

by National Gardening Association Editors

Dill Pickles

Harvest tiny two- to three-inch-long cukes for dill pickles.

Per quart jar:
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard seed
2 heads fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dill weed
1 cup vinegar
2 cups water

Wash quart jars. In each jar put salt, mustard seed and dill. Sort the cucumbers according to size and put similar-sized cukes in each jar, so they pickle uniformly. Use only small cucumbers or spears. Leave an inch of headspace at the top of the jar.

Measure vinegar and water for each filled jar and heat to boiling. Pour hot liquid into jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process 10 minutes in hot water bath.

Crock Pickles

1 gallon crock
firm green cucumbers cut into spears
1/2 pound canning salt
5 cups vinegar
5 cups sugar
1 small handful pickling spice (in mesh bag)

Fill the crock with cucumber spears. Mix canning salt in enough boiling water to cover spears. Cover them with a weighted-down plate or lid and let stand one week. Drain thoroughly. Add enough boiling water to cover the cukes. Let stand 24 hours and drain well.

Mix together vinegar, sugar and pickling spice. Bring to a boil and pour over pickles. Let stand 24 hours, then drain again, saving the syrup. Repeat this procedure once a day for four days, bringing the syrup to a boil each time.

After the fifth day, put pickles in canning jars and add hot syrup to fill jars leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and process in a boiling-water bath 10 minutes.

Large batches are easy to make. Use a larger crock, and proportionately more cucumbers and other ingredients.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

8 cups watermelon rind (1 large watermelon)
1/2 cup salt
2 quarts water
2 cups vinegar
3 cups white or brown sugar
lemon, sliced thin
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves

Remove skin and pink from rind. Cut rind into 1-inch cubes or chunks. Soak chunks overnight in brine mixture of 1/2 cup salt and 2 quarts water. Drain and rinse in fresh water. Drain again. Place rind in saucepan and add more fresh water to cover; simmer until tender, then drain. Make syrup of vinegar, brown sugar, lemon and spices. Simmer 5 minutes. Add to rind and cook until clear. Pack rinds into hot jars and fill with syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes.

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