Today, I canned my first pickles of the summer. I only had a handful of pickling cucumbers and zucchini, so I decided to make a couple small batches. I read recently in Better Homes & Gardens special magazine, Canning, a recipe for Bread and Butter Zucchini pickles, and I wanted to try them. I also wanted to make a batch of garlic dills. I found an easy recipe for those over at Food in Jars. I had to do a bit of math, considering I had a considerably smaller amount of produce than either recipe called for. But it was good enough for a trial batch of each!
Side note: who thought it funny to have produce so prolific during the summer so we’d have to stand over a hot stove canning it during the hottest time of year?
I’m looking forward to giving these a try. I’m going to give them at least a week before I crack open a jar (though I did sneak an onion piece from the bread and butters. Mmmm). But I will let you know in a future post. In the meantime,I have to get this finished so I can crawl back to the couch. Whoever thought it funny about the canning during summer business also blessed me with a sore throat and stuffy sinuses. Bleh.
So, here are the recipes I used. I’m posting the full recipe as it was printed, not the adjustments I made. Any adjustments to canning recipes need to be done carefully as to not alter the formula. It could disastrous.
Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles
Better Homes & Gardens Canning
- 3 1/2 lb medium zucchini
- 1 c thinly sliced, halved onion (1 large)
- 3 Tbsp pickling salt
- Crushed ice
- 2 c cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp celery seeds
- 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1) Wash zucchini. Slice of blossom and stem ends. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch thick slices. Measure 12 c zucchini slices.
2) In an extra-large, nonmetal bowl combine the 12 c zucchini and 1 c onion slices. Sprinkle with salt; toss gently to coat. Top with 2 inches of crushed ice. Weigh down mixture with a heavy plate. Allow to stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
3) Remove any remaining ice in zucchini mixture. Transfer mixture to a colander set in sink; drain.
4) In a 5 to 6 quart stainless steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy pot, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, peppercorns, and turmeric. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add zucchini mixture. Return to boiling, stirring frequently; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
5) Ladle hot mixture into hot, sterilized pint jars,leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims; adjust lids.
6) Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks. Makes 5 pints.
Garlic Dill Pickles
Makes approximately 8 pints (total yield varies depending on size of cucumbers)
2 overflowing quarts of pickling cucumbers, sliced into fat coins*
4 cups apple cider vinegar
4 cups water
5 tablespoons pickling salt
16 garlic cloves, peeled (2 per jar)**
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper per jar (2 teaspoons total)
1 teaspoon dill seed per jar (8 teaspoons total)
½ teaspoon black peppercorns per jar (4 teaspoons total)
–I added a bay leaf to each jar. I wanted that bit of flavor-
Wash and slice the cucumbers.
In a large saucepot, combine vinegar, water and salt. Bring to a simmer.
Arrange jars on counter and dole out the spices to each. Pack the cucumber slices firmly into the jars. You don’t want to damage the cukes, but you do want them packed tight.
Pour the brine into the jar, leaving ½ inch headspace.
Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
When 10 minutes are up, promptly remove the jars from the pot and allow them to cool on the countertop. When the jars are cool, check the seals (by pushing/tapping on the lid).
Pickles can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
If you want to skip the boiling water process, these pickles are also wonderful as refrigerator pickles. Just pop the jars into the fridge once they’re cool.