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Time to Get Your Pickle On - Some Great Recipes to Get You Started

Posted 8/8/2017 10:27am by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hey everyone! 

This is Lauryn here! I've been helping Chris and Christy get the farm news out for the last few weeks. So all of those requests for your favorite ways to use the fresh produce and local goods at the farmstand - yep, that's me! 

I'm going to put if out there...one of my very favorite things to do in the summer is to pickle. Well, not just pickle. I love a good salsa, jam, and most especially a hot pepper jelly (I've FINALLY perfected my recipe)! I even have a t-shirt that says, "I Eat Local Because I Can." Get it?!

Anyway, I'm here during the peak of cucumber season with a few great ways to preserve these bad boys. So, next time you're at the farmstand, grab a 1/2 bushel (or more if you are feeling super motivated) and get your pickle (and relish) on! 

Below you'll find my favorite recipe for Sweet Pickle Relish and even better, Christy's World Famous Bread and Butter Pickles! 

Sweet Pickle Relish

This is my very favorite recipe - the best that I have found so far. It is from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. You can also find the full step-by-step recipe here

Here is what you will need from the farmstand (to make about 6 - 1/2 pint jars): 

4 medium cucumbers

1 medium green pepper

1 medium red (or purple - I love using purple) pepper

1 bunch of fresh onions (you'll need 2 cups chopped)

*You'll also need to pick up some pickling salt, sugar, celery seed, mustard seed and apple cider vinegar. 

If you're new to water bath canning and need a good explanation/tutorial, you can find one here.

I love using this relish on all the classics - hot dogs, hamburgers, every other BBQ food, but I especially love it in a tuna salad. YUM! 

And now onto the best bread and butter pickle recipe you'll ever taste...

Christy here. Hello Everyone!! Here's the B&B Pickle Recipe that was shared with me by Patty Myers.

Read the whole recipe first.

If you have a dishwasher, load your pickling jars in and run it so they are waiting in there, hot, when you are ready to pack the cukes, add brine, and water-bath can your pickles. Do this if you want sealed, shelf-stable jars of pickles. If you don't have a dishwasher just make sure to wash the jars with water as hot as you can stand it before packing. If you are just going to put your pickles in the fridge - clean, cool jars are fine.

I have all sorts of notes about quantities. it looks like one brine recipe makes 5 Quarts (I recommend wide-mouth). and therefore in theory 10 pints.

the veggies:

10 Quarts Sliced Cucumbers

8 medium white sweet onions

2 large green bell peppers

4 cloves garlic - sliced

during the ice/salt phase:

1/3 cup salt (I use Kosher)

the brine:

5 cups Sugar (seriously)

3 cups Cider Vinegar

2 teaspoons turmeric powder

2 teaspoons whole celery seed

1 Tablespoon mustard seeds

the process! VERY IMPORTANT!

Find your most humongous bowl or a couple large bowls and put the sliced cukes and veggies in them. sprinkle the salt over them evenly and then cover the whole pile with ice. Let stand 3 hours. the ice should all be melted by then. drain but don't rinse.

Get your water bath canning pot 2/3 full of water and boiling. Bring the Brine to a rolling boil. I like to keep a separate saucepan of boiling water for sterilizing lids and bands.

Pack the hot jars with your sliced cukes/veg. See why I recommend wide mouth? Jam them in as best you can. Pour the brine (stirred to evenly distribute the spices) over carefully, using a ladle and one of those jar sized funnels. Make sure the brine covers all the cukes but there is still an inch of headspace at the top of the jar. I use a chopstick (sterilized in boiling water) to remove all air bubbles. If any brine gets on the mouth of the jar i use a paper towel (dipped in boiling water) to wipe the mouth clean. Use tongs to dip your NEW lid into boiling water then place on top, lined up perfectly. Grab a sterilized band and place it on top and tighten it just fingertip tight. Not tighter. Repeat until you've filled all your jars that can fit in your canning waterbath at once.

If you place cold jars into a rolling boil waterbath, the jars are likely to break, so either make sure your jars are pretty hot or let the waterbath heat up gradually once your tepid jars are lowered into the pot. There should be at least an inch of water over the tops of your jars. I start counting when the water boils with the jars submerged - boil 20 minutes. At this point you can either lift the whole basket out or use one of those groovy rubber coated jar grabber tongs to remove each jar individually. Place on a towel or cookie cooling rack and wait for that sweet sound of your lids sucking down into sealed shelf stability - ping!

Once cool, label and date the lid. you can remove the bands and wipe down the jar so it's nice and clean. If any of your lids do not suck down - put them in the fridge and eat them first.