SWEET & SPICY PICKLES

When I first began canning, I thought I needed ENORMOUS amounts of food to be efficient in the process. That’s probably because I grew up in a home where “bushels” were the norm, rather than a few pounds. I have since learned that this is not true! Even if you have small amounts, canning can be beneficial for you and your family. This recipe is a good example of preserving a few pounds of cucumbers that will be a blessing to your family in the winter months.

INGREDIENTS
5 pounds cucumbers, sliced 1/4 inch thick (It doesn’t take many to make 5 pounds!)
2 large onions, sliced
1/2 cup salt (non-iodized, such as sea salt, kosher salt, canning salt)
6 cups water
3 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
3 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
10 whole cloves
5 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
Place the cucumbers, onions, salt, and water into a non-reactive container and let sit for 2 hours. Drain the mixture, rinse thoroughly for a few minutes. Let the mixture sit in a colander to drain for several minutes.
Mix the remaining ingredients into a large pot. Bring to a boil and add the cucumber mixture over a medium heat. When it comes to a simmer, remove the pot and pack the cucumbers into sterilized jars. Pour the liquid over the cucumbers to attain a 1/2 inch headspace.
Place the sterilized flats and rings on top and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove and let sit for 24 hours before removing the rings. These should sit for 2 weeks before eating to allow time for everything to mix and mellow.

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