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September 22, 2013

All-Time, Favorite Pickle Recipe

The Internet is flooded with recipes for almost anything one would want to make (or maybe not) from Pickle and Peanut Butter Cupcakes to a simple white sauce, so I am usually hesitant to add more to the mix.  I couldn't resist, though, after making a batch of Slippery Elms (a recipe handed down to me from a childhood friend) and filling the kitchen with the mouth-watering aroma, sharing this favorite pickle recipe with you. The melt in your mouth goodness is like no other. We like this pickle with almost anything...alongside a sandwich, as an accompaniment to winter squash, with cheese and crackers, or simply any time we want to add a bit of zing to our dining experience. This pickle recipe is great because it uses the not-so-perfect, overgrown cucumbers we so often find in our garden at the end of the season, and it's really quite simple, with only a few ingredients. 

Slippery Elms
8 quarts cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
8 cups sugar (white or brown; I use equal parts of each)
3 hot peppers cut into thin strips or 3 tsp dried red pepper
4 tsp turmeric
Apple cider vinegar (enough to cover cucumbers (about 12 cups)

Place cucumbers in large stockpot. 
Add the sugar, hot peppers, and turmeric.
Pour vinegar over the cucumbers until just covering them.
Simmer over medium-low heat until tender, stirring occasionally (about 45 minutes).

Wash jars and lids. (Since the pickles will be processed for 10 minutes, simply washing in hot soapy water is sufficient. The Blue Ball Book recommends sterilizing jars used for contents processed for less than 10  minutes).
When pickles are tender, spoon into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
Screw on lids and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. (Here is a nice tutorial for processing using the hot water bath method.) 

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