Last season in the garden we had a few firsts. One was the jalapenos that I talked about in my Pepper Jelly post, another was planting our own pickling cukes for the first time. They did really well!
We devoted half of a bed to them and ended up having over 20 pounds, all in all. We are planning to plant a whole bed of them this year! (I see LOTS of pickles in our future!)
I grew up eating all different types of my grandmother’s homemade pickles, so I was very excited to try doing some of my own.
I started out with traditional Bread & Butter pickles, but in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, they had a couple of variations that looked interesting. One was these is a “Zesty” version. It substitutes horseradish and gingerroot for the celery seed and turmeric.
While I wouldn’t exactly call this “zesty” it definitely has more of a tang to it than the original. It was a nice change!
- 10 cups trimmed and sliced pickling cucumbers
- 4 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pickling or canning salt
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 Tablespoons mustard seeds
- 2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 2 Tablespoons grated gingerroot
- In non-reactive bowl combine cukes, onions and salt.
- Mix well and cover with cold water. Let stand for 2 hours.
- Transfer to a colander and rinse with cool running water. Drain thoroughly.
- Prepare canner, jars and lids.
- Into large pot add vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, horseradish and gingerroot.
- Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Stir in cukes and onions, return to a boil.
- Pack vegetables into hot jars, leaving a generous 1/2 headspace.
- Ladle hot liquid into jar to cover veggies, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and affix lids.
- Process for 10 minutes.
- *It is suggested that pickles sit for at least 6 weeks to fully cure. (But if you really need to try some sooner, go ahead, they'll still be yummy!)