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Let's make pickles.

Tomato Catsup

Cut up enough ripe tomatoes to fill a 3-gallon pot. Heat gently and repeatedly bail off the thin liquid until there are 1-1/2 gallons of tomatoes left. Grind in a food processor, through a sieve or food mill. Grind and add: 6 garlic cloves 3 large onions 2 sweet, preferably red, peppers 1 hot pepper Simmer until there is 1 gallon of sauce and add: 1 cup brown sugar 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 3 teaspoons paprika 112 teaspoon cayenne In a square of cotton cloth place and tie 2 teaspoons each: whole peppercorns celery seed whole cloves whole allspice

Simmer with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 cup vinegar until very thick. Pour into sterilized jars and process 15 minutes to insure seal. Makes about 3-3/4 quarts.

Lid Smith's Lime Pickles

Use sterilized jars

Slice or chunk 7 pounds cukes. Remove seeds from cucumbers before slicing for the best pickles. Better yet, use immature cucumbers as this is going to be a beautiful pickle and worth all the following labor.

In a bucket, soak the cuke slices in 2 gallons of water and 2 cups of hydrated lime. (Sold as pickling lime, this cheaper if you use the hydrated lime sold in feed stores for deodorizing the stables. Take some off the top of a newly opened bag, of course!) Let this mixture stand 24 hours. Stir gently, but often. The cukes are now inedible.

Then rinse, rinse, rinse till the water runs clear. Then soak for 3 hours in clear water. (I do all of this outdoors, somewhere that needs a bit of lime and irrigation.)

Then drain and cover with:

2 quarts vinegar

7 cups white sugar (8 cups is okay)

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon whole pickling spices

2 tablespoons salt

Soak overnight in solution. Bring to a boil. Boil 35 minutes. The pickles will become clear and translucent green. Pack and process 5 minutes to seal. Makes 5 quarts. Use only white vinegar (5%).

Bread and Butter Pickles

Use sterilized jars 12 cups (3 quarts) thin sliced cucumbers. (If the cukes are ripe enough to have seeds, cut the cukes in half lengthwise and spoon out seeds before slicing. 2 pounds thin sliced onions 2 sweet or 1 sweet & 1 hot pepper, sliced

Mix well and cover with 1/4 cup salt. Cover (in a colander in the sink is best) and let stand 3 hours. Then mix: 1-1/2 lbs. (3 cups) brown sugar. (Can be increased to 4 cups) 1 teaspoon turmeric 1/2 teaspoon ground doves 2 tablespoons mustard seed 1 teaspoon or more celery seed 5 cups (5%) cider vinegar, more needed.

Bring this to a boil in a large stainless or enamel pot. Meanwhile, rinse the cut-up vegetables well in cold water and drain them. Add vegetables to the pot. Heat to just below boiling. Pack in jars. Top each jar with a folded grape leaf. This will help insure crunchiness. Process jars in a hot water bath 5 Minutes to insure the seal.

Dill Pickles

6 cups water 6 cups white vinegar (S%) 112 cup sugar 114 cup salt

Cover with cold water and soak overnight:

About SO 3" to 4" cucumbers

or -- regular sized cucumbers sliced into about 6 lengthwise slices each. If the cukes have seeds, spoon them out before making the wedges.

The brine is easy to make. I just do up whatever cukes are ready on pickling day and then make as many batches of brine as necessary. The brine will store in the refrigerator if any is left over, to be used on the next pickling day.

Drain the cukes and pack in jars, quarts or pints. Wide mouths are easier. Be sure the jars are sterilized. (You can use mayonnaise jars for this recipe, but be sure the jars are warm when you pack them.) Pour the boiling brine over the packed cukes. Leave room for 1 head of dill per jar. Optimally add a peeled clove of garlic & a chili pepper. Fold a grape leaf on top. Seal. Process 5 minutes.

Dilled beans, too

The above brine for dill pickles can be used for string beans. Just blanch the beans, pack in jars. Cover with boiling brine and process 5 minutes. This makes 7 quarts.

Corn Relish

Use sterilized jars 6 cups corn, cooked and cut from the cob. You can use corn that is a bit over-mature. 1 cup chopped sweet peppers, or a mix of sweet and gently hot, like Hungarian wal or Anaheim. 1 cup chopped onion 1-112 cup string beans snapped into 1 " pieces 1 tablespoon mustard seed 2 teaspoons celery seed 1 teaspoon turmeric 1 cup sugar 3 cups 5% vinegar (cider vinegar is best) 2 teaspoons salt

Mix all this and simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Pack into pint or 1/2-pint jars. Seal. Process 5 minutes. Makes about 4-1/2 pints.

This not a sweet relish. I suppose the sugar could be increased if you wanted to sweeten. Both white and brown sugar work well.

Sweet Green Tomato Relish

Chop or grind & set overnight in a colander to drain: 2 sweet red peppers 3 green peppers 8 medium onions 25 green tomatoes 1 or more hot peppers Mix: 4 cups sugar 2 tablespoons celery seed 2 tablespoons mustard seed 1 tablespoon salt 1 quart cider vinegar

Simmer in a stainless or enamel container 15 minutes. Pack and seal in sterilized hot jars. Process 5 minutes.

Cucumber Relish

Pack into sterilized jars

Grate a dozen or more good-sized cucumbers. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and let sit in a colander in the sink overnight.

Meanwhile, grate 5-6 onions or chop them up in the food processor. Do the same to 1 sweet pepper.

Put onions and pepper in a stainless or enamel pot with: 4 cups vinegar (5%) 3 cups sugar 1/2 cup pickling spice tied in a bag

Bring this mixture to a boil and let sit overnight. The next morning add the cucumbers to the pot. Add extra cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon turmeric if you wish. Bring to a boil stirring often. Pack in pint jars, seal, process 5 minutes. (Remove the bag of spices, of course.)

Fruit Chutney

6 pounds pears (firm ripe), tart cooking apples or hard peaches, or a mix of the above. (I prefer pears and apples.) Peel and dice the fruit. Add: 1 quart cider vinegar -- add more if needed. 1-112 pounds brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt -- optional. I leave it out. 112 to 314 pound white raisins 3 chili peppers 2 small heads of garlic. Peel the cloves & chop coarsely. 2 chopped onions. Sweet or 118 to 3116 pounds fresh ginger, chopped

Cook about 3 hours over low heat till thick and syrupy. Pack in sterilized jars. Process 5 minutes.

Fruit Vinegar (Blackberry, Raspberry or Strawberry)

This is a low acid product compared to commercial vinegar. It is NOT to be used for pickling!

Soak 2 to 3 quarts of berries in 3 quarts of white vinegar for 3 weeks. Keep in a dark place and stir or shake occasionally. Use a crock or glass jug. Put paper or plastic wrap between the jug and the metal lid.

Turn the berry brine into a big stainless or enamel pot. Add 1 cup white sugar. Bring to a boil. Boil 3 minutes. Pour out through a cloth covered sieve. Tie up the cloth and hang it to drip out the juices just as you would to make jelly. Bring the juice you obtain to a boil again and pour into sterilized bottles or canning jars. Seal tightly.

This vinegar keeps well and makes lovely salad dressing or can be used as a substitute for wine in cooking. Wonderful with chicken or turkey. You can use old frozen berries. Sliced ground plums make nice vinegar, too.

Herb Vinegar

Soak mixes of herbs in cider vinegar for 3 weeks. Drain. Tarragon is wonderful. Others to try -- thyme & rosemary in small quantities with lots of basil & oregano. Experiment. Add oregano or basil flower heads to the finished bottled vinegar for a pretty gift. Be sure to sterilize your bottles before filling with the herb vinegar.
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Author:Kimmel, R.
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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