Saturday, June 25, 2011

June's Sweet Pickles

What do you do when you have lots of cucumbers?  Make pickles, of course.

My favorite pickle recipe is for June's Sweet Pickles, which originated from my mother, and is named after her.  As the joke goes, most things these days were named after my mother, 89 as of last weekend.  No, seriously, they were named after her (Wanda June) and the month of June, although I'd be willing to bet she never made them in June.

"So, what's the recipe?" says Virginia.

Slightly altered by me, here it is.

1. Gather 3 quarts of cukes, the smaller the better.  Wash them.
2.  Make a brine of 2 quarts water and a cup of pickling salt, and drop in the cukes. Let them soak overnight.
3.  On the next day, mix 4 cups of sugar, 4 cups of vinegar, 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of whole allspice (or pickling spices), 2 tablespoons salt, and 1 tablespoon of celery seed.  Stir these ingredients well in a kettle on the stove.  Add the cucumbers (not the brine) and bring to a rolling boil (one that can't be stirred down).
4.  The original recipe says "not long."  I'd say boil for 3-4 minutes.  Put the pickles in canning jars and add the hot sugar/vinegar solution so as to leave up to 1/2 inch of headroom.  Screw the lids on tight.  A 10-minute stay in a hot water bath canner is recommended to be sure they seal properly, but probably isn't necessary.

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