As cucumber plants go crazy, I do too … in the kitchen making pickles. Lately it’s been Bread and Butter, which are sweet and seasoned with mustard seeds, turmeric and celery seeds. Later I will be making dills, which are the standard for placing beside a sandwich. The tartness is pucker-worthy but just right when balanced in the recipe. Although quite a number of foods can be pickled, I really like using cucumbers because the plant gives and gives and gives. If you aren’t growing your own, markets are overrun with them so load up and start canning! It’s easier than you think!

 Sweet Pickle Chips (From The Complete Southern Cookbook)

Yield: 5 pints 

4 pounds pickling cucumbers (3 to 4 inches long), cut into 1/4-inch slices
5-2/3 cups white vinegar, divided
3 tablespoons pickling salt
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
3-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon whole allspice
2-1/4 teaspoons celery seeds

In a large stockpot, combine the cucumbers with 4 cups of the vinegar, salt, mustard seeds, and 1/2 cup sugar. Cover and simmer over medium-high heat until the cucumbers change color from bright to dull green, about 7 minutes. 

Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, combine the remaining vinegar and sugar with the allspice, and celery seeds over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.

Drain the cucumber slices and pack while still hot into canning jars. Cover with the hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles, wipe the jar rims, and adjust the lids. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. 

Place on a wire rack away from drafts to cool completely. Store at room temperature.



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