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Gherkin Pickles

Ingredients

7 lb Cucumbers — (1-1/2 inch or less)
1/2 c salt
8 c Sugar
6 c Vinegar (5 percent)
3/4 ts Turmeric
2 ts Celery seeds
2 ts Whole mixed pickling spice
2 Cinnamon sticks
1/2 ts Fennel (optional)
2 ts Vanilla (optional)

Yield: 6 to 7 pints

Method

Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave 1/4-inch of stem attached. Place cucumbers in large container and cover with boiling water.

Six to 8 hours later, and on the second day, drain and cover with 6 quarts of fresh boiling water containing 1/4-cup salt.

On the third day, drain and prick cucumbers with a table fork. Combine and bring to boil 3 cups vinegar, 3 cups sugar, turmeric, and spices. Pour over cucumbers.

Six to 8 hours later, drain and save the pickling syrup. Add another 2 cups each of sugar and vinegar and reheat to boil. Pour over pickles.

On the fourth day, drain and save syrup. Add another 2 cups sugar and 1 cup vinegar. Heat to boiling and pour over pickles. Drain and save pickling syrup 6 to 8 hours later. Add 1 cup sugar and 2 tsp vanilla and heat to boiling.

Fill sterile pint jars, with pickles and cover with hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Servings: 6

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Cooking Tips:

  • Basil, rose petals, mint, rosemary, nasturtium flowers or pods and other edible flowers are great as a garnish for your fine dining and are a pleasant alternative to parsley.
  • Finely chopped fresh herbs will produce a stronger flavor.
  • Dried herbs are almost 4 times stronger than Fresh. If you are cooking with dried herbs and your recipe calls for fresh herbs you can reduce the amount accordingly.
  • When cooking with garlic or onions, rub your hands under your stainless steel faucet with the water running to get rid of the smell. For some reason the stainless steel works it’s magic and eliminates the odour completely.
  • Never soak diced vegetables in water before preparing them or they will lose all their nutrients.
  • Run wilted lettuce under cold water, shake it dry, wrap it in paper towels and place in your refrigerator over night. The next day it will have perked right up.
  • If you plan on doing any canning you can use vinegar to clean and deodorize any old jars you want to reuse and to remove fruit stains from your hands.