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Posts Tagged: pickles

Remember that Previous Pickle post? Here's info on using leftover brine--


How to use that pickle brine!

. . . Use it, I say!

I read "That Leftover Pickling Brine" at  Preserving Food At Home by the National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP), hosted by the University of Georgia. A good tie-in to our last pickle post, no? This article has good info on using up leftover brine from quick pickles (non-fermented) pickles, refrigerator or hot-pack and processed.

Did you know that you should NOT re-use leftover to make more hot-pack processed pickles? This article explains why—the solution becomes less acidic after use on vegetables in a recipe.

Other explanations of when and where you can or cannot use leftover brines are given and explained. In addition, links to pickling fact-sheets and, pickled product, and canning relishes are given. Check it out, read and brush-up your pickling education.

 In any case, you could always use leftover brine to make this fried chicken sandwich recipe:  Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken Sandwich at  Looks good to me!



Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 11:39 AM

Basic Pickles from Cucumbers: Tasty, Delicious Pickles, two ways to save them.


Pickling season is here.  If you don't have any in a garden you can harvest, check at your local grocery or Farmers' Market for pickling cucumbers and pickle away. Pickles are pretty easy to do, but the fresh refrigerator pickles, well you could have your children make them with a little supervising.

--Oh, what are pickling cucumbers? They are cucumbers especially suited to making pickles as their skins are especially tender. Grow them or buy them as they will give you the best results for your pickling efforts. Salad cukes are very much darker than pickling cukes. As you can see on below, picklers are lighter in color, can have more yellowish areas and are quite warty and bumpy.

Nice Looking Pickling Cucumbers

If you find or grow pickling cucumbers select those that are evenly sized and still have lengthwise ridges; they will look almost shriveled, but actually feel very firm. Avoid the large ones that look yellowish and bulbous as these will soft pickles.  Make sure they are hefty for their weight and when you squeeze them gently, they should not feel hollow. For sure, try them in a summer salad, or as sticks for a dip.

Remember also that there are a lot of ways to use pickles, and leftover pickle brine. Put pickles in egg salad, sandwiches (of course), burgers (not a sandwich, it's a BURGER!), or into tater salad--it's almost time to start really grilling. Mix chopped pickles with a bit of chopped onion, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, salt, pepper, maybe a big pinch of dried dillweed (that you dried yourself!), a little granulated garlic and mayo--what do you have:  a great tartar sauce for using on grilled fish. And use that leftover tartar sauce as a dressing for some fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, it's dang good. There is always the pickle pop: put a cold pickle on a popsicle stick and much away! And you could put some other things on that stick, like tomatoes and cheese, maybe some ham, and call it an appetizer. . .

Of course you could try a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. I won't, but if you do, could you let me know what you though of it?




These refrigerator pickles are tasty and quick, not too much fuss, and you store 'em in the fridge and chow down! This recipe is great for beginner picklers.


Refrigerator Kosher Dill Pickle Spears

Recipe adapted from:  Christian, K. and Barefoot, S. (2015rev). Put It Up! Food Preservation for Youth. Athens, Georgia: National Center for Home Food Preservation. Retrieved from

makes about 4 pint jars

3½ pounds of about 4-inch long pickling cucumbers (about 14)

2 cups water

1 cup distilled or cider vinegar (5% acidity)

¼ cup Ball® Kosher Dill Pickle Mix*

Sterilize empty jars by filling them with water and putting them right side up on the rack in a boiling water canner. Fill the canner with hot (not boiling) water to 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Boil 10 minutes at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft. At higher elevations, boil 1 additional minute for each additional 1,000 ft. elevation. Leave jars in the canner until use. Allow cooling to near room temperature.

 Rinse cucumbers in a colander immediately before using. Scrub well, giving special attention to the area around the stems. Remove a 1/8 inch slice off each end of the cucumbers with a knife.

Slice cucumbers lengthwise in half, then in half lengthwise again until you have created spears. Place spears in a large bowl.

Measure and add water, vinegar and Ball® Kosher Dill Pickle Mix into a medium saucepan. Stir briefly and then turn burner to high heat to bring to a boil. Turn off heat, then pour/ladle hot pickling liquid carefully over cucumber spears in the large bowl. Let sit until the liquid cools to room temperature (about 30 minutes).

Using a jar lifter, remove jars from canner, empty them, and place them on a flat surface that is insulated from the cold counter with a couple of clean dishtowels or larger towel. With clean/gloved hands, pack cucumber spears to fit tightly without mashing into the jars; this will help to keep your pickle spears from floating. Trim spears if needed to make sure 1/2-inch at the top of the jar is left empty—you should probably trim them just a little shorter than this to insure they will be covered by brine but still have the correct1/2 inch headspace.

Ladle pickling liquid into jars leaving ½-inch headspace (from the top of the liquid to the top of the jar rim). Use bubble wand/freer or non metallic spatula to release any air bubbles that are trapped in each jar. Measure headspace with headspace tool to ensure it is ½-inch. Add or remove liquid with a spoon if needed to maintain ½-inch headspace, and make sure all spears are completely covered by liquid.

Wipe jar rims with clean, damp paper towel. Apply lids and ring bands, turning bands securely onto jars, but do not “wrench” them on.

Mark jars with date an place them in the refrigerator. You can eat within just a few days, but for best flavor, refrigerate for 3 weeks before eating, then share with family and friends! Be sure to keep them refrigerated and eat them all up within 3 months!


And then here's a boiling-water-processed larger batch for your off-the-shelf convenience:

Quick Fresh-Pack Dill Pickles

  • 8 lbs of 3- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers
  • 2 gals water
  • 1¼ cups canning or pickling salt
  • 1½ qts vinegar (5 percent)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tbsp whole mixed pickling spice
  • about 3 tbsp whole mustard seed (2 tsp to 1 tsp per pint jar)
  • about 14 heads of fresh dill (1½ heads per pint jar)
    4½ tbsp dill seed (1½ tsp per pint jar)

Yield: 7 to 9 pints

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave ¼-inch of stem attached. Dissolve ¾ cup salt in 2 gals water. Pour over cucumbers and let stand 12 hours. Drain. Combine vinegar, ½ cup salt, sugar and 2 quarts water. Add mixed pickling spices tied in a clean white cloth. Heat to boiling. Fill jars with cucumbers. Add 1 tsp mustard seed and 1½ heads fresh dill per pint. Cover with boiling pickling solution, leaving ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1 or use the low- temperature pasteurization treatment. For more information see "Low-Temperature Pasteurization Treatment" .

Table 1. Recommended process time for Quick Fresh-Pack Dill Pickles in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Raw Pints 10 min 15 20
Quarts 15 20 25


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2015.

Reviewed February 2018.  Pickling at the NCHFP  Pickling FAQ




Posted on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 6:00 AM

Get ready for Canning Season--Get a Canning Tune-up

Need a brush-up on canning techniques?  Are you a little fuzzy on the hows and whys of water-bath (WB) canning? Want to make sure you practice safe preserving? Need some hands-on WB practice? 

Attend the Canning Tune-up Class, have fun, and get valuable info and practice!

Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 5:42 PM
Tags: canning (10), pickles (4), practices (1), preserving (19), quick (1), tune-up (1), water bath (1)

The plan, the PLAN. And Pineapple jam--or pickles??

Sweet, sweet pineapple.

There was a plan. The first part of the plan was to check out the freezer(s), to see what I could cook or make from the freezers. Then, the final part of the plan was to make a meat stock.


Visiting the local middle-east ethnic market, I casually strolled about the store taking in the fresh take-out food, meandering by the milk products, cruising the coffees and teas, pouring over the pasta and beans, and then! The meat and produce section!

What did I see? Good price on ten pounds of taters. Prime porterhouse steaks at one third the price elsewhere (I splurged and bought three. . . the freezer, you know?). Marvelous Manila Mangoes, two for a buck. Then, OM-Golly, the pineapples: 99 cents each! They were big pineapples, weighing in at between four and five pounds each. Whoo-boy – Meat stock disappeared from my consciousness.

Memories of pineapple pickles past came to the foremost in my thoughts. I first had those pickles several years ago. The taste I remember fondly: sweet-sour, redolent of cinnamon and just a little cloves, with delicious pineapple flavor. They hooked me right then. A year or so later, I got some pineapple at a good price and made pineapple pickles for the first time. For me now, cheap pineapple equals pickled pineapple. Great from the jar or seared on the grill. Great with some cottage cheese or skewered in a kabob with chicken or pork or veggies. Pineapple upside-down cake. Cue the Foreigner song. “They ta-aste like the first time, they ta-aste like the very first time . . . “ (seriously dating myself here)

Those pineapples were nice looking, maybe not as yellow as I might wish for fresh eating, but they had nice flavor after trimming and cutting, great for pickles. I bought 4, gave one to my sister. The next day I made pineapple pickles. All was good in my canning world.

The day after I made my pineapple pickles I visited the same market again. Beautiful pineapples were on sale: TWO pounds for a dollar!

I like canned pineapple. REALLY cheap pineapple equals – I guess I need to can some straight pineapple or, I know, pineapple jam for Christmas gifts!

The following recipe for Pineapple pickles is delicious; spiced, sweet-tart pineapple.  Try them straight from the jar (after some jar time of a couple of weeks), grill them on the bar-b-cue, put them in kabobs, mash them up to put on ice cream, or you can make a pineapple upside-down cake.  I am sure you can figure out some other ways to use them!


Pineapple Pickles

(Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Preserving, 2012)

Yields: About 4 pints

2 cups brown sugar

1 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

3 sticks cinnamon, broken

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon whole cloves

2 fresh pineapples, peeled, cored and cut into spears (about 5 pounds each)

Combine brown sugar, vinegar and pineapple juice in a large saucepot. Tie spices in a spice bag; add to saucepot. Cover; simmer 20 minutes. Add pineapple to syrup; simmer until hot throughout. Remove pineapple from syrup; keep hot. Heat syrup just to a boil; remove spice bag. Pack hot pineapple into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Ladle hot syrup over pineapple, leaving ½ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath canner.

 (many apologies to the group "Foreigner"!)




Posted on Monday, June 15, 2015 at 3:28 PM
Tags: canning (10), pickles (4), pineapple (2)
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