We are having a great cucumber year. So we decided to make our first batch of pickles this week.

We were down to our last jar of bread & butter pickles from last year, so we decided to start with those. You can tell it’s early in the canning season, because I entertained the idea of cutting the cucumbers with the crinkle cutter.

The struggle with these pickles is that you have to slice and salt them, and leave them for an hour to drain before finishing the recipe. And I always forget that – so when I carve out the time to do them, suddenly I have an hour in the middle of it where I need to do something else while I wait, like laundry. I never learn.

The recipe we use is an old American recipe, that came from my Danish mother-in-law. We used my family’s recipe for a number of years, but then had a jar of hers and decided that was the better recipe. We’ve used it a couple of years now and everyone loves it.

The recipe:

  • 8 cups cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 3 cups onions, sliced thin or chopped*
  • 4 tbsp salt

Sprinkle salt over vegetables and let stand 1 hour

Drain and add

  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp celery seed
  • 3” stick of cinnamon
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 4 green peppers, chopped fine*

Bring syrup to a boiling point, just simmering, for 15-20 minutes.  Pour over cucumbers in hot sterilized jar, and process for 10-15 minutes.

*Use half as many as called for, or omit entirely if you don’t like the taste

The results

8 cups of cucumbers netted us 4 pint jars of pickles. Which is a manageable amount to can; as the season runs on we will end up doing double and triple batches, and most of Sunday afternoon into evening will be spent on canning. I am always grateful for the work come the middle of winter, but in the heat of summer it can be draining.

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