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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Homemade Bread & Butter Pickles

2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery seed
1 Tbsp mustard seed
1-1/2 Tbsp mixed pickling spice
(cinnamon stick, ginger, mustard seeds, cloves, peppercorns, chilies, etc.)
3-1/2 pounds cucumbers, cut into 1/4″ slices

In a 5-quart pot (non-aluminum), combine sugar, vinegar, water and spices. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cucumber slices. Return to a boil, stirring gently and trying to submerge slices as they cook. When the pot returns to a boil, boil for 90 seconds, then remove from heat. The slices should have changed from a bright cucumber green to a darker pickle green. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, fill hot jars with pickles slices, then fill each with pickling liquid, leaving 1/8″ head space. (You may have extra brine; you can refrigerate this up to a week if you are making another batch soon.) Wipe rims clean with a damp paper cloth and add lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath — 20 minutes for quarts, 10 minutes for pints. Begin timing when the water has returned to a boil after you submerge your jars.

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