Finding Different Canning Recipes for Cucumbers

I’ve cucumbers coming out of my ears…guess that is what happens when I put four plants into the ground!

This time, besides more Speedy Dill Pickles I found a couple of recipes that I wanted to try and sort of merged them into one, with a few additions of my own. And I came up with:



You can find the originals I worked with at: Self-reliance: Recession-proof Your Pantry, pg 87 – Aunt Merna’s Chunky Mustard Pickles and Canning & Preserving for Dummies, pg 104 – Pickled Veggies.

All veggies, sans the cauliflower, came from my garden…I’ll try to give you the precise amounts of each one, but sometimes I just had a “handful”, so bare with me.


2 quarts pickle cucumbers, cut into large chunks 1″-2″ skin left on
1 head cauliflower, cut into small flowerets
3 large carrots, cut into 1-1/2″ pieces then halved
3 Sweet Italian peppers, stemmed and cut into 2″ pieces seeds included
4 Jalapenos, stemmed and seeded cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 Bell peppers (I used red & yellow), stemmed, seeded and cut into large pieces
4 2″-3″ onions – peeled and cut into rings
6 Tomatillos – husked and quartered (that was all that I had ripe after making salsa)
Green beans – handful, I found a plant underneath the tomatillos!
6 yellow pickle peppers

Get your water bath canner ready and jars hot (I had ready 6 quart jars and a couple of pint jars as I wasn’t sure how much my recipe would make. )

Cut all the veggies and put in a large stainless steel pot, glass bowl, or crock. Sprinkle 1 cup kosher salt over veggies and then cover with 4 quarts of water or enough to cover veggies. Let soak for 6 hours or more. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Bring to boil 4 cups of vinegar, 2 cups of water and 6 cups of sugar in large stainless steel pot.

Mix 1 cup of cleargel (or flour) with 2 cups of water, 1 TBS celery seed, 4 TBS of mustard powder, 2 TBS Tumeric and 1 TBS mustard seed. Blend well and then add to vinegar mixture. Let thicken then add veggies and bring to a rolling boil.

Ladle into your hot prepared jars and leave 1/4″ head space…wipe rims clean and put on lids and rings.

Process for 20 minutes after boiling starts. Higher elevations add 10 minutes. I’m in Northern Nevada so I processed for 30 minutes total. Hook canning rack over the pots rim and let sit for 5 minutes before pulling jars out for cooling.

August 2009 Garden Update ~ Sparks, Nevada

Well…it’s almost the end of August and here is what is left of my garden. I don’t think it produced as well as last year, but I tried different plants than last.

Cucumbers…I’ve oodles of cucumbers. The best producing ones have been the Lemon and the Homemade Pickles. Both I bought as seedlings from the UNCE Plant Sale, and that particular Master Gardener got her seeds from Botanical Interests in Colorado.

Cucumber ~ Homemade Pickles Seeds


They have made many many many pints and quarts of pickles (picture shows lemon and homemade cucs):


Lemon Cucumber Seeds ~ These are tasty little cucumbers!


Spacemaster Cucumbers round out my cucumber plants. It’s not producing as many as the other two…but supplies us with great cucs to slice into salads and add with red onions and vinegar.

Squash…I’ve diddly-squat in the squash department. Squash bugs ate my whole crop. I couldn’t smoosh them fast enough.

I do have a mystery volunteer that is coming up in the decomposed granite in between two of my boxed tomato plants. I’m thinking it’s a winter squash of some sort…or a mutant. Anyone have any ideas?


Tomatillos…I’ve tomatillos coming out of my ears. 🙂 They grow well here in Northern Nevada, that’s for sure. I think I may decrease to 2 plants next year. I’ll be making more salsa soon. I’ll add a bunch into pesole that I plan on canning (going to break out that pressure canner that I got for my birthday soon).

Peppers…peppers ALWAYS do well here! I’ve been picking bell peppers, hungarian stuffing peppers, yellow pickle peppers, jalapeno, cayenne, and sweet italian. I’ve borrowed my sister’s dehydrator and plan on using it and the pressure canner to put up my peppers after roasting them. I read that you can dehydrate peppers even after roasting them. Will be making sauces up and canning them too.

Sweet Italian peppers starting to ripen

Sweet Italian peppers starting to ripen

The corn did ok, not as well as last year. I planted it in a different spot, guess it didn’t like it much.

The heirloom Brandywine tomatoes did not do well at all. The plant looks ok, it blooms, but then they drop. The heirloom Siberian tomatoes are producing very well.

Beets did great. Carrots not so well. Radishes did well. Brussels sprouts not so well…I finally yanked them as they were full of bugs. Cabbage did great. Cantaloupe got eaten by squash bugs. Horseradish is doing great…well, the top part is really big, not sure about the root part yet.

Herbs do great in my yard. You should see my one sun room…loaded with brown lunch bags of herbs drying. Basil, fennel, chamomile, oregano, thyme, parsley, rosemary, and sage.

Busy Busy Busy…Did I say I was BUSY?! ACK!

Have been super busy here at work. Haven’t had time to play on the computer…worked through lunches last week and since I have no online access at home it was hard to post anything.

Besides working from 6:30 am to 4:00 pm with no lunches last week here are few things I did at home.

Made pickles…enough of the homemade pickle cucumbers grew at the same time for me to make 3 qts of pickles. I added garlic and dill from the garden too. My husband has been wanting to open them up from the day I canned them. Told him to wait a couple more days, please!



Had another furlough day on Friday. We had a free stay at the Silver Queen Hotel in Virginia City coming to us so we stayed Thursday night. A front came down from Canada and cooled us down very NICELY…68 high (down from the high 90’s). Was very nice up there. Have a few pictures…will write more about the place later.



Made some more grocey tote bags yesterday afternoon.


Spider web in one of our cedar trees ~


Moon on Tuesday night ~ we’d just gotten back from looking at the Hot August Nights cars at Victoria Square near our house.


Speedy Kosher-Style Dill Pickles

I’ve been asked by a few people for the recipe I use for my dill pickles ~ guess what?! I remembered to bring the book to work today! 😀

Speedy Dill Pickles ~
pg 102 from Canning & Preserving for Dummines, Karen Ward, Canning Instructor.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Processing Time: 15 minutes for Quarts, 10 minutes for Pints
Yield: 3 quarts or 6 pints

4 pounds pickling cucumbers (I used my garden cucumbers the first time and they turned out great)
6 TBSP Kosher Salt
3 Cups distilled White Vinegar
3 Cups Water
1 TBSP whole mixed pickling spices
18 black peppercorns (I used the black, red, white peppercorns)
3 TBSP dill seed
Fresh dill springs (optional)
2 Cloves peeled garlic, halved into each jar

Start heating up your water bath while you do the rest below ~

1. Wash your cucumbers. Leave them whole if they’re smaller than 4″ in diameter. Cut larger cucumbers into slices or in halves or quarters.

2. Prepare your canning jars and two piece caps according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep jars and lids hot.

3. Combine salt, water, and vinegar in a saucepan. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the salt. Keep liquid hot.

4. Snuggly pack the cucumbers into your prepared jars. To each QUART JAR add 1 tsp of pickling spices, 6 peppercorns, and 1 TBSP of dill seed. To each PINT JAR add 1/2 tsp pickling spices, 3 peppercorns, and 1-1/2 tsp dill seed. If you are using fresh dill add a sprig or two to each quart or pint jar in between the inside edge of the jar and the cucumbers. If you are using garlic you add it to this step too.

5. Ladle the hot liquid into your filled jars, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace in the Quart jars and 1/4 inch in the Pint jars. Completely submerge the cucumbers. If they protrude from the jar, adjust them until you have the proper headspace. Release any air bubbles with a non-reactive tool (wood or rubber ~ I use a small, flat wooden knife). Add more liquid to the jar if the level drops from releasing the any air bubbles.

6. Wipe the jar rims; seal the jars with the two piece caps, hand-tighten the bands. Process your filled jars in the water bath.

15 minutes for Quart Jars
10 minutes for Pint Jars

Start your time from the point of boiling!

See chart below for increased time if you are above sea level ~ I have to add an extra 10 minutes of bath time for all of my canning.

High-Altitude Processing Times
1,001 – 3,000 5 minutes
3,001 – 6,000 10 minutes
6,001 – 8,000 15 minutes
8,001 – 10,000 20 minutes

Remove the jars and place them on a clean kitchen or paper towel away from drafts. After the jars cool completely, test the seals. If you find jars that haven’t sealed, refrigerate and use them with 2 months.

I love listening for the pinging of the jars…sweet music to a canners ears! 🙂

The Red Wing Crock

I love Red Wing pottery ~ especially the crocks, and we’ve always had 3 of them in the house while growing up. I had always assumed that they came from my dad’s side of the family, who is from Red Wing, MN. But have since learnt that they’re from the other side of the family from Nebraska.

The crocks are one of the few things that I really really really wanted handed down to me ~ and mom let me have 2 of them so far. 😉

Mom said that the 8 gallon crock was the maker of dill pickles and the hider of California walnuts. Grandma and Great Grandma, in Lynch, Nebraska, would make dill pickles by adding the cucumbers to the pickling brine and place a large dish on top of the crock. And it hid walnuts that were sent by my Great Aunt Hazel (who had moved to Los Angeles) ~ in plain view of the all the kids when they operated and lived in the hotel. She said they never did figure out where her mom was getting them from…she’d only pull out a small bunch at a time to put out.

I seriously debated on using the 2 gallon crock to make dill pickles this year. But chickened out and took the “fast route” ~ maybe next year!