Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sweet and Spicy Pickled Cucumbers

My garden has become one of my greatest accomplishments.  This summer I have grown an abundance of herbs, arugula, sorrel, chard, fennel, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, watermelon radishes and cucumbers.  The cucumbers have taken over and have begun to tiptoe themselves across our driveway.  With such a bountiful crop, I have no choice than to take a stab at pickling.  My harvest has given me sweet tasting cukes, not bitter, with light green skins.  I have so many, I could actually have a facial party.  Think of all the dark cirlcles I could help fix.  My family has become quite intrigued as to how many ways I can prepare/cook a cucumber.  So, today I pickle.  A perfect Sunday afternoon experiment for the 104 degree weather that my cucumbers thrive in.  Maybe I can work on my husbands dark cirlces while I'm at it.


2 Mason jars with lids
2 cucumbers, peeled
1 cup distilled vinegar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 bay leaves (divided)
1 tsp celery seed (divided)
2 tsp red pepper flakes (divided)
1 tsp cumin seed (divided)
1 tsp dill seed (divided)
1 tsp mustard seed (divided)
1 tsp pickling spice (divided)
1 tsp turmeric (divided)

Brine:    Combine vinegar, water and suger in medium saucepan over high heat.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  Boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Blanch cucumbers for 2 minutes in boiling water.  Drain over ice until cooled.

Place sliced cucumbers in cleaned Mason jars.  Add spices equally to jars.  Carefully fill jars with brine to within 1/2 inch of the top of the rim, covering cucumbers completely.  Place lids on jars and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.  Will keep for up to 1 month.

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