Monday, June 25, 2007

June

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Kosher Dills & Bread and Butter
From John's Garden and Tracy's Kitchen

June is pickle month at our house. We are hoping for a bountiful cucumber harvest, so we can make plenty of pickles to eat and give away. John planted two 4' x 8' beds of cucumbers (about 24 plants) this year. He is picking cucumbers daily and so far I've put up six pints of bread and butter pickles and seven quarts of kosher dills. Just after this first round of pickling, we noticed tiny worms on the plants--not a good sign. Let's hope we can get rid of these pests soon, because in just one week they have ruined about 100 cucumbers!

The pickle recipes I'm using are from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (1984 edition), but here is one for bread and butter pickles that is very similar. The main difference is that I put the jars in a water-bath for five minutes. I'm surprised this recipe doesn't include that step.

Making pickles is a relatively new venture for me. This is only my second year to try my hand at it, so I'm still experimenting with the ingredients. The first year, the bread and butter pickles were just right, but the dills weren't dill enough or spicy enough for our taste, so this year I really packed in the dill seed, garlic and hot peppers. Hope I didn't overdo it. We'll have to wait at least a week before trying them. The flavor will be much better the longer they sit.

I'm picking up tips here and there. Friends of mine just told me about Pickle Crisp and they even gave me a box to try on the next batch. Another friend shared a tip that's been a great time saver. She told me to put the label on the lid instead of the jar. Since you can't reuse the lids for canning, you don' have to spend time removing the sticky glue that's left when the label is removed. Does anyone have other good tips to share?

15 comments:

  1. Just like John I grew up eating lots of good things from canning jars. Your picture looks great, I hope this years batch is a good one!

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  2. My mother and grandmother always pickled pickles! Yours look very good!

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  3. The pickles look great! Another thing to add to my growing list of things I'd like to try when we have our own house/yard! I hope the dill pickles are up to your standards this year!

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  4. Yummy! Dill pickles are one of my favorites. I don't like cucumbers at all UNLESS they are pickled. I've never tried canning of any type, though. I'd probably poison myself and my family! :-)) You'd hear all about it on the news! Ha!

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  5. As a child, we had a large garden and Mom would can. I really remember beans and mixed veggies for soups. I don't so much remember pickling, but I don't like pickles so I just may have not eaten them. One day, when we get some space, it's on my list of things to try. Can't wait to hear how yours turn out.

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  6. skeetshooter11:24 AM

    Hmm. . . .looks just like Aunt Jo's bread and butter pickle recipe. I lost my copy and this will spark my memory. And no, we don't water bath ours.

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  7. oooooo, my favorite! homemade kosher dill pickles! ughhhh! they look so good Tracy! Wanna trade yarn for pickles ;)

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  8. beautiful pickles! blue ribbon!

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  9. Oh, yum! Those look so good!

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  10. Yum, indeed! I love homemade pickles. They are by far the best. My parents used to can lots of veggies and such and I miss that.

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  11. Do you use alum in the pickleing spice? this is good for keeping them "crisp" too. They look great I hear they go good with fresh fish!

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  12. I love pickles. Got that from my dad. I do not like sweet pickles but for some reason, Bread and Butter pickles really appeal to me. I love dill and garlic pickles too. We have a garden but since I don't can we didn't plant pickling cucumbers. I may have to try them next year.

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  13. wow....you are canning already! My cukes are just little teeny babies right now...LOL

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  14. ooh. you left a comment on my blog- thats how i found you.
    But i wanted to comment on your pickles. Homemade dill pickles are the best kind in the world! No factry or store can make better pickles than home made.
    If you need a taste tester ( hehe) look me up!
    when we were kids we used to sneak into my friends grammas basement and eat all the pickles. we're bad

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  15. heh Lotsa pickle lovers out there!! I used to eat a pint of my mom's dill pickles for a snack! We always had "sweet chunk" and "bread and butter" and used them in our tuna salad. Your pickles are gorgeous Tracy - we used to write on masking tape then put it on the lids for labels but you can just write on the lids with a sharpie.

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Thank you for commenting!
~Tracy