I've only canned once in my life. I made homemade Orange Marmalade for my dad for Christmas. But, I've always wanted to can my garden vegetables and I've been putting it off for awhile. With my fall garden doing well, I figured I needed to learn sooner rather than later. My first real canning session was this morning. My mom brought me some farmers market cucumbers and I love me some pickles. So, Bread-n-Butter pickles, I decided, was first on my list.
Homemade Bread-N-Butter pickles
4 medium/large cucumbers, washed, and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup canning salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbl mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
5 Half-Pint canning jars/lids/bands
In a large bowl, combine the cucumber and onion. Add salt and cover with water. Let soak for 2 hours.
Drain, rinse, and let drain again.
While the veggies drain, prepare you utensils and jars. Fill a large pot with water, add your jars and lids (set bands aside on the counter), let simmer (do not boil) while you prepare the cucumbers. You can put your utensils in there as well to sanitize any metal tongs or ladles you want to use.
Meanwhile, add your vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and ground turmeric to a pot. Bring to a boil, so the sugar can dissolve.
Add the cucumbers/onions. Stir to coat the veggies, bring to a boil.
Once your cucumbers come to a boil, get your jars ready. Take them out of the water carefully, pour out excess water and set on a towel. Leave the lids for now.
Spoon the cucumbers into each jar, leaving about 1/2 inch gap between them and the top of the jar. Pack it pretty tightly as they will soften during processing.
Ladle the hot pickling liquid into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch gap from the top. With potholders, take the jars and bang them lightly on the counter to help remove any air bubbles. Add more liquid if needed. Wipe the rims with a paper towel.
With a pair of tongs, grab a lid from the pot, and set it on top of the jars. Center the band on top, and screw on until fingertip tight.
Place the jars back into the pot of water, and boil the jars for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars, very carefully, with tongs. Set on a towel and let cool. Check back after 24 hours and the lid should have sealed. Press down on the lid, it shouldn't push in. If it DOES pop in and out when you press it, the lids did not seal correctly, you must reprocess the jars.
Store your pickles in the pantry for up to a year. Remember to write the date on them. Refrigerate after opening.