Growing cucumbers seems to be feast or famine for us. We had complete crop failure three years in a row, then a bumper crop. This year is just so-so. The plants are getting killed by cucumber beetles and just aren’t thriving. We used seeds we got for free, which could be part of the problem, I don’t really know.
Luckily it doesn’t take a whole lot of cucumbers to make pickles. My last jar of 1,000 Island pickles ran out a few weeks ago, just in time to harvest enough to make a new batch.
Making pickles is a good introduction to canning and you can use fresh produce from the garden or farmer’s market. If you have even a couple extra cucumbers and are anxious to have a new canning adventure, this recipe is for you. I got it from my mom who has been making it for years.
1,000 Island Pickles
2 quarts sliced cucumbers
1 1/2 green peppers, sliced
1 heaping cup sliced onion
3 tablespoons pickling salt
2 1/2 cups vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Place cucumbers, peppers and onion in large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Add enough cold water to cover. Let sit for 3 hours. Rinse well.
Prepare water bath canner. Make sure jars and lids are clean and put lids in small bowl of warm (not boiling) water. Jars should be in simmering water to keep them hot.
Heat vinegar on stove with seeds and sugar. Bring to boil and add cucumbers, onion and pepper. Return to a boil and stir in turmeric. Remove from heat.
Remove hot canning jars from water bath and ladle pickles into jars. Make sure to include enough liquid to totally cover pickles. If you don’t, they will get slimy in your jars at the top. Leave about 1/2-inch headspace. Place lids and rings on jars and place jars in your boiling water bath. Boil in canner for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, remove cover and let canner sit for 5 minutes. Remove jars and place on a towel. Let sit for about 24 hours. My yield was about 8 half-pints. Enjoy!
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