The Domestic Home Arts: It's Time To Pickle Your Cucumbers

Many summers I watched Mom get out her big water bath canner and slice and chop fruit and vegetables to can them for the "off season."

In spite of some years that she helped  bring in the family funds, Mom always practiced the home arts. What she served at the family meal table was prepared with love and care.  In looking back, every meal time, was a celebration of love. I specifically remember Moms pickled beets (she reminded me about them the other day) and her pickled cucumbers - To Die For!

Well, it's our season to get out the canners or use the non canning methods to "put up" those delicious pickling cucumbers no only for present day divulgent but for the fall season when pickles are gone. What a nice treat, especially at our fall holiday meal tables, to serve up a little tray of pickled cucumbers that we "put up" from the summer harvest!

This year we seeded a ton of pickling cucumbers that are just beginning to turn corners but until they are ready, Kelly at Desert Roots has been so kind to let us complement our harvest with hers.

We'll sell the cucumbers in 10 # bags since most  most recipes call for around that amount. I can't wait for Thursday and Saturday market time to hear all the "I remember when Mom/Grandma pickled cucumbers" stories and recipes. So bring them on! We'll put up a board with your favorite recipes and who knows, maybe we'll start The Simple Farm recipe book with all the fun favorites!

"Putting up" or canning pickling cucumbers isn't hard at all and to get you inspired I've posted two easy recipes that sound fabulous. I intend to try both myself as my family are big pickle lovers. 


Gracious Garlic Dills  - 
Trader Joes often has fresh dill in their herb section that has come from California)

 8 # of pickling cucumbers
4 cups white vinegar
12 cups water
2/3 cup pickling salt
16 whole cloves garlic
4 teaspoons minced garlic
16 springs fresh dill weed (use dry)
4 teaspoons dry dill weed

1. Wash cucumbers and soak in ice water for 2 hours. If you're planning to slice these, wait until just canning.
2.  Bring the vinegar, water and salt to boil. 
3. Place 2 cloves of garlic, 2 sprigs of dill, 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon dry dill into each of the 8 quart jars (that have been sterilized). Pack each jar with approximately 1 pound of cucumbers. 
4.  Fill jars with brine, leaving 1" headspace and making sure the cucumbers are fully covered.
5. Cap and process jars for 15 minutes in a hot-water bath. Age for 2 months before eating.

Recipe source here.

Here's something similar to what Mom used to make:

Old Fashioned Kosher Pickles

3-4 pounds young small cucumbers
2-4 sprigs fresh dill (again use dried OR Trader Joes often has fresh in their herb section that has come from California)
6 - 8 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and cut in half
kosher salt
white vinegar

1. In a large jar, place 2 sprigs of dill
2. Wash and snip off ends of cucumbers. Put cucumbers in the jar until it is full.
3. Add water to the jar, one cup at a time. Then add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar for every 3 cups of water added.
4.  Top with 2 more sprigs of dill and 3-4 more cloves of garlic.
5. Once the jar is filled to the top, seal jar. Gently shake to mix.
6. Set in window or outside whee it will get some sun. Allow approximately 4 days for fermenting. If you like more sour pickles, you can let them stay in the jar an extra day or two.
7. Refrigerate.

1. Use cucumbers that are small, dark green and firm.
2. The jar should be filled to the top with the cucumbers and water.
3. The vinegar ensures the pickles will be crunchy and not soft. So, if you like a hard pickle, add a bit more vinegar.
4. If you want your pickles to be ready in less that 4 days, you can boil the water with the salt and vinegar. Let it stand so it gets to room temperature. Then add it to the cucumbers. This speeds the fermenting time.

Recipe source here.
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