Sister Elaine gave me two more ice cream tubs of cucumbers, already cleaned and sorted into small and medium-small sizes. So I had another pickling adventure. I got recipes from Sister Elaine and from my friend Meg in Colorado. In all, I did 16 quarts of dill pickles, one quart of refrigerator pickles and 5 pints of bread and butter pickles (basically refrigerator pickles but "processed" for 10 minutes to seal the lids).
Here are the recipes, which I did some doctoring to:
Refrigerator Pickles (Joyce Schroeder Hoelmer)
7 cups unpeeled cucumbers, sliced, preferably with a mandoline about 1/4-1/2 inch with ridged edges
1 cup very thinly sliced onions
1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers (from a jar-- or green peppers, but I don't like green pepper)
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp celery seed
2 tsp turmeric (this is what gives them that amazing color)
2 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar
Mix together cold, put in jars, cover and keep in the refrigerator. They'll last up to a year and are ready to eat in a few days. This was an AMAZING recipe.
Bread and Butter Pickles
yield: about 6 pints
4 lbs 4-6 inch cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 lbs onoin, thinly sliced
1/3 cup canning salt
2 cups sugar
2 T mustard seed (I didn't have any of this)
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp ginger (I skipped this)
1 tsp peppercorn
3 cups vinegar
Combine cucumber and onoin slices in a large bowl, layering with salt; cover with ice cubes. Let stand 1 1/2 hours. Drain, rinse, drain again.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large saucepot; bring to a boil. Add drained cucumbers and onions and bring to a boil again. Pack hot pickles and liquid into sterilized (still hot) jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Cover with caps and lids. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath.
Dill Pickles: I already explained how to make these with a simple recipe here. We opened one jar tonight, only two weeks after pickling and too early really... recommendation is a month. Still, it was good but too salty to my taste. However, it did not have too much vinegar, so in the future I'll keep about a 1:1 ratio (another recipe was 4c water: 1 c vinegar). I'm hoping the other batch with whole cucumbers and a different ratio of ingredients will work better. Basically the only difference was that I had better quality vinegar and a little less salt.
Here's one more recipe, adapted, which is how I'm going to do it next time
: Hamburger Dills: 1 5-gallon ice cream pail of cucumbers (9 quarts); 1/4 cup canning salt; 8-10 cups water; 8 cups vinegar; sprigs of fresh dill; 3 Tbs mustard seed; peppercorns (4/quart jar); pieces of white onion, pieces of garlic.