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Old May 4, 2007   #1
harleysilo
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Default Cucumber Pickles

Ingredient list:
  • 1 glass gallon jar
  • 20 pickling cucumbers cut into spears
  • 1 clove of elephant garlic sliced thin, not the whole bulb just one large clove
  • 1 tsp-tBp crushed red pepper flakes (1tsp=mild 1 tablespoon is zesty)
  • 1 TBp mustard seed
  • 1 TBp Pepperconrs
  • 4 whole bay leaves
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup non-iodized salt (canning slat or kosher salt, no iodine)
  • 1 pint white vinegar
  • 1 gallon distilled water (no spring or tap)
  • Optional 1 Tsp of Allspice corns (whole allspice)
Instructions:
  • Wash your hands they are filthy and could introduce bacteria into the jar thus spoiling your pickles. I don't know the level of acidity or if enought vinegar or salt is added to prevent the growth of something nasty over time.
  • First buy pickling cucumbers. I bought a case at the local farmers market for $19.00, +- 180 cucumbers...I shared them with co-workers who wanted to make their own after tasting mine!
  • Gather your ingredients
  • Wash your cucumbers...i used soap, i don't know where the cucumber pickers hands have been.
  • Slice them into spears
  • Rinse them again
  • measure your vinegar
  • add crushed red pepper, mustard seed, allspice, peppercorns, and salt
  • heat on stovetop till salt dissolves
  • While it's heating wash your dill
  • slice up your elephant garlic
  • Layer cukes, dill, elephant garlic, and 4 bay leaves into 1 gallon jar
  • add vinegar mixture, then add distilled water to within 1 inch of top.
  • Let sit for 7 days then enjoy, they stay good for about 2 weeks, but you'll eat them before then

Last edited by Suze; June 28, 2008 at 09:58 PM. Reason: links to instructional pictures were broken
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Old May 4, 2007   #2
Zana
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Harleysilo,

Sounds like a good pickle recipe. I may just borrow it for one of the batches we run this year. Just to shake it up.

There is a less labour intensive way to wash your cukes, especially if like me you make hundreds of jars of pickles per year. Put them in a top load washer with a verrrrrrry mild soap like sunlight - and you'll need verrrrrry little soap to clean them. Remember you don't want a residue left on them. Set the wash cycle/cold water wash/rinse on gentle with enough water to cover the cukes completely. (To be honest, since I buy mine from organic growers at the farmers' market, I usually just run it through without the soap. )

Trust me this is a huge time saver when doing a bushel or more of cukes in a day...and we're usually doing about 4 to 5 bushels! And no sand to deal with afterwards in the process is a huge bonus.

My family does a yearly marathon - assembly-line-style production. These are a hot pack style method, which pretty much eliminates the need to "process" any of the jars (except those that didn't seal on their own). Usually about 10% of the jars need to be processed, but considering how many we do, that's very few in the long run.

If you're interested in the Armenian Style Dill Pickle Recipe I can post it.
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Old May 4, 2007   #3
harleysilo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zana View Post
Harleysilo,

Sounds like a good pickle recipe. I may just borrow it for one of the batches we run this year. Just to shake it up.

There is a less labour intensive way to wash your cukes, especially if like me you make hundreds of jars of pickles per year. Put them in a top load washer with a verrrrrrry mild soap like sunlight - and you'll need verrrrrry little soap to clean them. Remember you don't want a residue left on them. Set the wash cycle/cold water wash/rinse on gentle with enough water to cover the cukes completely. (To be honest, since I buy mine from organic growers at the farmers' market, I usually just run it through without the soap. )

Trust me this is a huge time saver when doing a bushel or more of cukes in a day...and we're usually doing about 4 to 5 bushels! And no sand to deal with afterwards in the process is a huge bonus.

My family does a yearly marathon - assembly-line-style production. These are a hot pack style method, which pretty much eliminates the need to "process" any of the jars (except those that didn't seal on their own). Usually about 10% of the jars need to be processed, but considering how many we do, that's very few in the long run.

If you're interested in the Armenian Style Dill Pickle Recipe I can post it.
Wow, i would never have thought to use a cloths washing machine! They don't get bruised up from the agegitator?

I would love to see your receipe! I would also like to hear more about how you prepare yours to prevent something nasty, and your shelf life of the canned pickels.

One of the reasons I like these so much is because they are crispy fresh. If you take a bite of these, and then a bite of a fresh cucumber, they are identical save the flavor. I don't like the mushy kind, or the kind that are too strong with the vinegar taste. How are your after several months regarding crispness?
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Old May 4, 2007   #4
OhioCindy
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Hi - I'm new here too (1st post) and followed your post to your recipe. Can't wait to try it! Question though - where do you put the pickles to "sit"? I made a pickle recipe last year where you had to put the jar in the sun. Do you put yours in the fridge or room temp? Thanks for the pics and the step by step.

Zana - great idea about the washer. Will definitely do that!!

Cindy
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Old May 4, 2007   #5
Zana
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[/COLOR]
Quote:
Originally Posted by harleysilo View Post
Wow, i would never have thought to use a cloths washing machine! They don't get bruised up from the agegitator?

I would love to see your receipe! I would also like to hear more about how you prepare yours to prevent something nasty, and your shelf life of the canned pickels.

One of the reasons I like these so much is because they are crispy fresh. If you take a bite of these, and then a bite of a fresh cucumber, they are identical save the flavor. I don't like the mushy kind, or the kind that are too strong with the vinegar taste. How are your after several months regarding crispness?
As far as the pickles getting too bruised from the washing machine agitator....No, not if you put on the GENTLE cycle with lots of water and don't overload the cukes. Don't add more than a half bushel of cukes at a time. There's more than enough room for them to move about without getting crushed then.

I'll go copy it from my records and post in a few minutes. I've included instructions on prep and cleaning of cukes/veggies and jars, lids, rings etc. As previously mentioned we tend to do it on a massive scale....assembly-line-style. We've been known to have as many as a dozen people working on different things. One cleaning/prepping garlic alone! But not so surprising when you realise that we did over 300 jars last year...most of which were at 1 L (quart) to 1.5 L in size and at least 20 that were closer to Imp. gallon jars (5 quarts to an imperial gallon). We assign my father "catering duties"... which means he's in charge of take out and beverages.... LOL...since he doesn't cook, but scarfs down the pickles in quantity.

Shelf life in jars that are totally sealed, and with no sign of rusted rings, can be over 2 years in a cool dark place. We keep them in a cupboard in the "fruit cellar" (that has never seen fruit except stuff that has been canned or preserved). They are put in the refrigerator after they've been opened.

One way to ensure that your pickles retain that "crunchiness" is to make sure that you've got very fresh, just picked ones with few bruises/blemishes. It is better to cut off the damaged areas than add the whole cuke with the bruises to the jar. The same thing goes for any of the other veggies that we do in the same brine....for the Tourshi (Armenian mixed pickles) or other single veggies like beans or onions. As for crunchiness for opened jars....Frankly an open jar rarely lasts more than a week in this house....usually far less, especially if the whole "immediate" family is visiting. If we're having a bash, we could go through a gallon or more.

These have a strong dill-garlic taste, which is far more prominent a taste than the vinegar used in the brine. You can alter the amount of dill, garlic and hot peppers used in the jars to taste. And make sure its lots of fresh dill - whole seed heads are best, with some of the "feathery" dill. But you can skip the "feathery" dill and just add the seed heads and stems

Okay time to go dig up the recipe.
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Old May 4, 2007   #6
Zana
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Ok...this is a copy of what I posted on another forum....different tips and the recipe.

" The only ones I process with that brine are the ones that don't end up self sealing within about 15 to 20 minutes.

We make up a large batch of brine (since we tend to do this assembly line style.) using organic apple cider vinegar and spring water, as well as kosher salt.

Then load all the jars up with whatever is being pickled - cukes, hot or sweet peppers, garlic, dill, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, baby carrots/carrots, cabbage, celery, etc. Then pour the hot brine over the contents of the jars to the top of the jar. We then put the lid and ring on and do a finger tip tighten of the ring. Wipe off any brine on the side of the jar and set aside.

Check back in about 15 to 20 minutes (listening for the "POP" sound of the jars lids sealing). If the jar lid has depressed down, tighten the ring and let completely cool. Store in a cool dark place.

We find we have to wait about 6 weeks before they're "ready" to eat.

Armenian Style Dill Pickles or Tourshi (Pickled Mixed Vegetables)

here are two family versions - one using organic apple cider vinegar and the other with regular white vinegar. This is for the brine solution.

12 cups spring water
3 cups organic apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup kosher salt
(optional: increase the salt if you prefer a saltier pickle)

or

1 quart white vinegar
3 quarts spring water
1 cup kosher salt

Prepare all pickle ingredients - wash cucumbers to remove all dirt and sand, peel and trim garlic cloves, wash & cut up red, yellow or green peppers (hot or sweet depending on your taste), wash and clean off dill seed heads.

Sterlise wide mouth canning jars, lids and rings.

Mix all brine ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a rolling boil and reduce to a simmer.

Packing jars: In sterlised jars add garlic clove(s) to taste (You will need to add more depending on the size of the jar. If a 500ml/pint jar, probably 1 to 2 cloves, if a 1L/quart jar, probably 2 to 5 cloves, if a gallon jar, probably 6 to 10 cloves will be needed. (Remember Armenian food can be a bit heavy on the garlic for those that don't like allot of it, so adjust accordingly.) Add dill seed heads again, more if a larger jar. Add red/yellow/green/orange pepper pieces (about 2" x 1" at most - or long strips). Add cucumbers, stuffing the jar tightly. You can cut up spears or slices or chunks to fill gaps. The important thing is to pack it as tightly as possible.

Add hot brine solution to jar, pouring directly over the contents until the jar is full. Hold lid in place securely while tightening ring. (You don't have to have the ring so tight that you'll need a body builder to remove it....lol....just enough so that the lid will be held tightly against the rim of the jar to enable a good seal.) Wipe off the outside of the jar and lid (dried brine will leave a whitish salt residue on the jar) and set aside to cool and seal.

Usually within the next 15 to 20 minutes you should hear the "pop" of jars sealing on their own. If after half an hour or more you still have jars that haven't sealed on their own, you'll have to process them in a canning kettle.

`````````````````````````````````````````````

For the mixed pickled veggies - you could do cauliflower, celery, carrots (slices, sticks or baby size), eggplant, small onions, green/yellow/burgundy beans, okra, any colour of cabbage you get your hands on, cherry or grape tomatoes, green tomatoes, hot or sweet peppers - various colours and cucumbers.

Obviously, the size and the freshness of the cucumbers will matter. The larger they are, the tougher they tend to be.

One other tip our family picked up along the way - and believe me, it comes in handy when you're pickling multiple bushels of cucumbers, etc in one session - wash your cucumber in your washing machine (don't think it would work as well with a front load washer) on the gentle cycle with more than enough cold water to cover but WITHOUT ANY SOAP(or a very gentle soap like Sunlight)! This is the fastest and simplest way we've found to do allot of them. Make sure you have something to drain them in when you bring them back to the kitchen work area or you'll have a serious mess on your hands (she says sheepishly, since she learned the hard way!).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions

Zana
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Old May 9, 2007   #7
Gimme3
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Love a Good Pickle...this Thread is Goin Places...))) Any body that talks about doin it w/Bushels.. i gotta Listen to...anyway...))) TY Zana an Harley...for the Inputs...gettin in the mood of Anticipation...to make some pickles , an i sho Appreciate....detailed Info as you both offer...TY...)))
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Old May 9, 2007   #8
jenn_sc
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Wow! Great thread! Especially since I've been contemplating making pickles for the first time ever this year!!!

I planted five "Boston Pickling" cuke plants. I hope that's enough for some fresh eating and plenty of pickles. I love salty, garlicky dills...my husband likes bread and butters. I'm hoping to make some of both.

So if I boil the brine mix, and use sterilized jars...then pour the brine into the packed jars....they will seal on their own? And this means it's safe to not use a boiling water bath?

Safety is my biggest concern. I really want good crispy pickles, too. I had some home canned pickles one time and they were limp. Even though the taste was good I couldn't get over the soft texture


Please keep the recipes and methods coming!

Jennifer
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Old May 9, 2007   #9
Zana
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Jennifer,

My mother learned to make the Armenian Dill Pickles from her MIL, my grandmother over 50 years ago. Sadly Mom passed in January 2006, so last year I got to carry on the tradition of coordination of the pickling marathon. The reason I mention the time frame is that Mom rarely had more than 5 to 10% of the jars seal on their own with the hot pack method. Those that didn't seal she put in the "beer fridge" until they were ready and they were eaten first. However, after I showed her how to process the jars, we were able to have closer to 98-99% success rate in sealing the jars. Not bad when you consider how many we actually do.

The trick is to pack the jars with the "pickles" - whatever you happen to be pickling - cukes or other veggies, then pour the boiling brine solution straight into the jar to the top. Wipe the top edge of the jar. Then put a lid on it, and holding the lid down with a finger or two, screw the ring into place snuggly. You want it tight enough so that the lid will seal.....but you don't have to put it on so tight it would take Ahhhhhhnold to open it. Anything that doesn't go pop and self-seal within about 25 minutes....usually about the time that it takes the jar to cool, you will have to process in a hot water bath.

You can always keep an eye on your stock of pickle jars. If any "unseal" over time, don't hesitate to pitch them. No use risking getting sick.

If you find that your pickles (cukes) aren't crunchy, then you've used ones that are overly ripe - past their prime. If they're crunchy to eat (test a few), then they should remain that way. If they seem to be "hollow", then they won't be crunchy as pickles.

Hope that helps.
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Old May 20, 2007   #10
duajones
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Using the recipe at the top of the page, do you store them at room temp or in the fridge? and do you add the mixture to the jar while its still hot or let it cool to room temp?
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Old May 20, 2007   #11
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Made a batch today using mostly pickle cukes but added a couple boothbys and a lemon to it. Im thinking they should be refrigerated so that is what I am going to do
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Old May 22, 2007   #12
harleysilo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duajones View Post
Using the recipe at the top of the page, do you store them at room temp or in the fridge? and do you add the mixture to the jar while its still hot or let it cool to room temp?
Sorry, I swore I included that, but you assumed right, they are supposed to be refrigerated the entire time you have them.
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Old May 25, 2007   #13
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Cheated and tasted them tonight after 5 days instead of 7. Very good, I was actually surprised. Crisp, Flavorfull and I could see them being better with the additional time. Can also see changing up the ingredients a bit for fun. Will definitely try them again.
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Old May 27, 2007   #14
duajones
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Now, everyone in the house that likes pickles has tried them and they are half gone. Realized however, that I had used an 80 oz jar instead of a gallon on the first bunch. They really had some bite. Made another batch with yesterdays harvest of boothbys blonde and a lone Diva. Added a few jalapenos from my garden and used a little more vinegar than the recipe called for. Looking good.
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File Type: jpg pickles052707.jpg (91.4 KB, 157 views)

Last edited by duajones; May 27, 2007 at 04:52 PM. Reason: added info and pics
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Old May 29, 2007   #15
harleysilo
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Now, everyone in the house that likes pickles has tried them and they are half gone. Realized however, that I had used an 80 oz jar instead of a gallon on the first bunch. They really had some bite. Made another batch with yesterdays harvest of boothbys blonde and a lone Diva. Added a few jalapenos from my garden and used a little more vinegar than the recipe called for. Looking good.
Great, I'm glad you and yours are enjoying them! Keep track of any additions you make so you can post them up if you find they provide any significate flavor change. I'd be interested in switching up the recipe as well!
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