This classic sweet-and-sour pickle is an example of a fresh pickle, which means that it’s preserved by vinegar.  It’s high sugar content helps retard bacterial growth.

picklesWhat you need:

Soft vegetable brush

8 pounds small pickling cucumber

4 cups cider vinegar

8 cups sugar

2 tablespoons pickling salt

2 tablespoons mixed pickle spices

A large, deep, stainless-steel, nonreactive pot

8 to 10 1-pint glass canning jars and two-piece canning lids

Canning equipment

A narrow plastic spatula

What to do:

  1. Using a soft vegetable brush, scrub the cucumbers in cool running water.  Cut 1/16 inch of the blossom end.  Discard any cucumbers that are bruised or damaged.
  2. Put the cucumbers in the nonreactive pot and cover with boiling water.  Let them stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
  3. Drain off the water and again cover with boiling water.  Repeat the process daily for three more days.
  4. On Day 5, bring the vinegar, salt, sugar and spices to a boil in the nonreactive pot.  Slice th cucumbers into ¼-inch thick chips and add to the pot.  Let the pot stand at room temperature for one more day.
  5. On Day 6, drain off the liquid and bring it back to a boil.  Add the cucumbers.  Boil 1 minute and portion the pickles into clean, hot canning jars, filling each to within ¾ inch of the top.
  6. Cover the pickles with the brine, filling to within ½ inch of the top of the jars.  To remove air bubbles, gently run the plastic spatula (don’t use a metal one) around the jar, keeping the utensil between the pickles and the jar’s inner surface.  If necessary, add more liquid to readjust headspace.  Wipe any residue off the rims with a clean, damp towel.  Apply lids and screwbands evenly and firmly until resistance is met—fingertip tight.  Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.  The pickles will be ready to eat the next day. – Bato Balani

Photo courtesy:  foodpreservationguide