Home canning can be a highly rewarding experience. It’s economically and personally satifying. Digging out those jars of fresh vegetables you have “put-up” and lined up on the shelf, the food is there, at your fingertips! You can feed your family and friends and as well as give as gifts to very special people. I’ve decided to try my hand at pickles with my mother due to a good yield of cucumbers that are perfect for such a treat.
When we bought our home, the previous owners loaded up what things would fit into a Uhaul and departed South where they had always hoped to retire. Upon moving in, we amassed quite a hoard of things they left behind. Recently during our kitchen renovation, I stumbled across some old recipe books and Ball Canning books. One was dated 1963, and although canning techniques are constantly being tested, reinvented, and simplified, the core element of preparing good food for our families has not. I was flipping through it and on the last page, there was a wise proverb noted for the homemaker that seemed comical in a sense that the world has changed so much, but preserving a good marriage is always key. Pictured is the wisdom the book offered.
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Bread and Butter Pickles
16-20 medium cucumbers, thinly slices
10 small onions, thinly sliced
1/3 c. salt
3 c. distilled vinegar
2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. mustard seed
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp celery seed
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp peppercorns
Combine cucumber and onion slices in large bowl. Layer with salt and cover with ice cubes. Let stand 1 1/2 hours; drain and rinse. Place remaining ingredients in large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add drained cucumbers and onions and return to boil. Pack into hot 1 1/2 pint jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Adjust caps. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Yields about five 1 1/2 pint jars.