After my first pickling experience, I was pretty sure I was never going to pickle anything again. I just didn’t enjoy the process – it was messy, everything smelled like vinegar all day, and I really didn’t know what to do with pickled carrots (I still don’t). It wasn’t until a camping trip we took with friends that I got excited about pickling again, because one of my friends had brought along her grandma’s bread & butter pickles. I don’t even like pickles, and I fell in love with these! She told me that her grandma’s secret was that she threw in some summer squash along with the cucumbers. So, that’s exactly what I did for this month’s Tigress Can Jam challenge, which was cucurbits. I used the recipe for bread & butter pickles from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, and made my modifications from there…and this time, I turned the fan on over the stove and opened every window in the house, which kept the vinegar smell to a minimum. Instead of pint-sized jars, I used eight-ounce jars – the perfect size for a picnic basket!
- 5 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
- 4 cups thinly sliced yellow squash
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup pickling salt (I used kosher)
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp dill seeds
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
In a glass bowl, combine the cucumbers, squash, onions, and salt. Mix well, then cover with cold water and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
Transfer to a colander, rinse with cool water, and drain thoroughly.
When ready to can, prepare your supplies. Bring the temperature of the glass jars up by processing them in hot water for several minutes. Heat a few cups of water in a small saucepan for the lids.
In a large pot, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard and dill seeds, and turmeric. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the vegetables and return to boiling.
When the jars are ready, pack the vegetables into the hot jars to within 1/2″ at the top of the jar. Ladle hot pickling liquid into the jars to cover the vegetables, leaving 1/2″ headspace.
Place the full jars back into the boiling water and boil 10 minutes. Remove from the water and place the jars on a towel, and let the jars cool. The seals should suck down (you’ll hear a popping noise as they do). Makes 5 eight-ounce jars.