Cooking with Susie Q

9 years ago

This year seems to have been a good growing year for our garden. The cucumbers are abundant and pickles seem to be in my future.  If you don’t have a garden, check out the farmers market or one of the many roadside stands locally. For my bread and butter I use the slicing wheel on my food processor and for the dill you can slice into rounds or spears. Rounds are easier for sandwiches or spears are fun.

Seeing those jars lined up in your pantry ready for meals or gifts is a very satisfying sight.

Dill Pickles
4 lbs pickling cucumbers (about 16 small to medium)
3 cups sugar
2 Tbsp salt
6 cups cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Mixed Pickling Spice
Green or dry dill (1 head per jar or 1 tsp dried)
6 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

    Directions: Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside. Wash cucumbers. Drain. Cut cucumbers into 1/4-inch thick slices, discarding ends. COMBINE sugar, salt and vinegar in a large saucepan.
Tie spices in a spice bag and add to vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Keep hot until ready for use. Remove spice bag. Pack cucumbers into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Place one head of dill in each jar. LADLE hot liquid over cucumbers leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight. Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check for seal after 24 hours. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Bread and Butter Pickles
2 quarts water
1/2 cup salt
20 cucumbers, cut into 1/8-inch slices
ice cubes
6 cups white sugar
4 cups water
4 cups apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons ground turmeric
4 teaspoons mustard seed
1 teaspoon celery seed

    Directions: Stir 2 quarts water and salt in a large pot until salt is dissolved. Submerge cucumbers in the water. Add ice to the water to keep cold. Let cucumbers soak for 2 hours. Drain salt water from pot. Rinse and drain cucumber slices twice. Stir sugar, 4 cups water, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, mustard seed, and celery seed together in a large pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; add cucumber slices. Simmer until the cucumbers are completely hot, but do not bring to a boil, about 10 minutes.
Sterilize canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Pack the cucumbers into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings. Let cucumbers pickle two weeks before eating.
I really enjoy this time with you each week and would love to hear from you. Do you have any requests? Is there a recipe you have been looking for or remember from your younger years? Can I help you find it? Do you have any recipes that are special to you that you could share with us? Please contact me at or c/o Pioneer Times, P.O. Box 456, Houlton, Maine 04730.