Labor Day Weekend is always bittersweet. I look forward to cozy sweaters, vibrant colored trees dotting the landscape and my favorite of all holidays…Halloween! BUT, I will miss being able to slip on sandals effortlessly and enjoy days at the pool and park.
This post is like Canning 101 for anyone who has never attempted the canning process before. It is really not that complicated and when you hear the popping sound when the first jar sealed you will be hooked. I took a class last summer that went over the basics like pickling cucumbers, making raspberry jam and a wonderful peach chutney so I am passing some of what I learned along to you.
A few tools you will need :
A plastic funnel
Rubber tongs to submerge and remove the jars from the water bath
Mason jars, lids and screw caps
A large stockpot
(I bought these items at Ace Hardware. They are usually on sale this time of year.)
Bread and Butter Pickles
Makes 5 pint jars
8 cups sliced pickling cucumbers
1 onion thinly sliced
2 Tbs kosher salt
2 cups cracked ice
2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp celery seeds
1 Tbs mustard seeds
1/8 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
3 bay leaves, crushed
- Start by chopping your onions and pickling cucumbers and toss them into a bowl.
Add your salt and ice into the bowl and mix well. Place another bowl with water or a heavy can on top and allow to sit at room temperature for 3 hours.
While the cucumbers and onions marinate, you can wash and sterilize your jars and lids. I place the jars on a sheet pan and put them in a 225 degree oven for a half hour. Note: the jars must be hot when you add the brine mixture or else they can crack.
To make the brine, combine the vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery and mustard seeds in a large pot and bring to a boil. Put a large separate pot on to boil with 6 inches of water.
Drain the cucumbers and onions and add them to the brine. Bring it back to a full boil and immediately turn off the heat.
Evenly distribute the chili flakes, peppercorns and bay leaves between the jars.
Place the cucumbers and onions into the jars, packing them down tightly. Fill the jars with the brine, leaving 1/2 inch of headroom. Use a chopstick or knife to take out any air bubbles.
Wipe the rim and place the lid on the hot jar. Carefully set the jars in the pot of hot water using the rubber tongs. Cover and bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes.
Remove jars carefully from the water bath. Place them on a wire rack to cool. Make sure the jars seal properly. You will hear the popping sound when that happens. If they have not sealed, you can always place the pickles in the refrigerator and enjoy immediately. For the ones that seal, place them in a cool, dry place and away from light. Give them as gits this holiday season!
Wait one week to enjoy your pickles.
And the winner is…..
Congratulations to Carrie for winning the NFL football! Stay tuned for more giveaways.