Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Bread and Butter Pickles (Mustard Seed Trivia)

This morning, I asked Wayne if he'd help me slice cucumbers.  Sure!   That made this whole process go more quickly.

First Ingredients:

24 cucumbers, about 4-5" x 1", cut into 1/8" thick slices
6 med. size onions, thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup pickling salt

1.  In a large bowl, mix together the sliced cucumbers and onions, diced green bell pepers, minced garlic (from a jar) and salt.  Gently mix together well enough to disperse everything equally.  Allow to stand for about 3 hours.

2.  At 3 hours, start to prepare the pickling liquid as follows:

Combine the following ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil (use a saucepan large enough to also hold the cucumber mixture once this liquid is ready/boiling):

Second Batch of Ingredients:

3 cups cider vinegar
5 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons whole mustard seed*
1 and 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon ground tumeric

3.  Immediately, once the liquid boils, remove from the heat while you quickly do the following:  Using a colander, drain the liquid from the cucumber mixture.  Rinse off excess salt by running cold water over cucumber mixture in the colander for about 10 seconds.  Let the rinse water also drain off.

4.  Stir this drained/rinsed cucumber mixture into the boiling vinegar mixture.  Remove from heat shortly before the combined mixtures return to a boil.  (We don't want to 'cook' the cucumbers and make them mushy.)

5.  Transfer all to sterile containers.  I mainly fill the jars with the 'solids' and then add enough juice to each jar to make things 'equal'-- I filled each jar to within 1" of the top.  Seal and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

6.  I ended up with about a cup more than 3 quart jars (depending on the size of the cucumbers you used, this could vary a little).

* I've always wondered about those MUSTARD SEEDS used in some recipes.  Are they only for flavor?  Are the good for us?  Are they.........?   When I did a Google search, I found they do have benefits-- you can check this out for yourself.  A mere 250,000+ websites popped up:

P.S.  If you have questions about something I didn't make clear, post it in the comment section.

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