Quick Pickles--The Short Cut To Pickles & Relish

Quick Pickles are made using vinegar instead of the traditional method of salt brining. The old way took days-weeks-and even months to produce pickles and while that method is still superior, quick pickles are tasty and fast.

Here are a few recipes to get you started:

Reminder- "Salt" is "Pickling Salt" and "Vinegar" means 5% Acid Vinegar, most recipes are best with distilled white vinegar. Apple vinegar will impart a lot of flavor to all recipes so beware!

Ratios of Water, Vinegar, and Salt are Crucial to Preservation, Herbs, Spices and Sugar may be adjusted to taste.

Pickling Spice
2 tablespoons mustard Seed
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 bay leaf -- crumbled
2 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick - (2” long)

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight jar or container. Use in
favorite pickle recipes.

This recipe yields 1/3 cup.

Homemade Herb Pickling Mix
This is great to have on hand and saves time! The herbes de Provence add an interesting flavor that’s not typically found in supermarket pickling mix blends. To use the pickling mix: put one to two tablespoons in the pickling jar, then add the veggies and the vinegar/salt mixture, following the directions in the recipes. It’s that easy!

2 tablespoons mustard seeds
4 tablespoons herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon bay leaves, shredded
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon dried, crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon cloves

1. Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

2. Put into a clean, glass container and store in a cool, dry place.

QUICK FRESH-PACK DILL PICKLES
8 lbs of 3- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers
2 gals water
1-1/4 cups canning or pickling salt (divided)
1-1/2 qts vinegar (5%)
1/4 cup sugar
2 qts water
2 tbsp whole mixed pickling spice (Store mix or homemade)
about 3 tbsp whole mustard seed (1 tsp per pint jar)
about 14 heads of fresh dill (1-1/2 heads per pint jar) or
4-1/2 tbsp dill seed (1-1/2 tsp per pint jar)

Yield: About 7 to 9 pints
Procedure: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave 1/4- inch of stem attached. Dissolve 3/4 cup salt in 2 gallons water. Pour over cucumbers and let stand 12 hours. Drain. Combine vinegar, 1/2 cup salt, sugar, and 2 quarts water. Add mixed pickling spices tied in a clean white cloth. Heat to boiling. Fill hot jars with cucumbers. Add 1 tsp mustard seed and 1-1/2 heads fresh dill per pint. Cover with boiling pickling solution, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process in a Boiling Water Bath for 10 minutes(pints) or 15 minutes(quarts).

QUICK SWEET PICKLES
May be canned as either strips or slices
8 lbs of 3- to 4-inch pickling cucumbers
1/3 cup canning or pickling salt
4-1/2 cups sugar
3-1/2 cups vinegar (5%)
2 tsp celery seed
1 tbsp whole allspice
2 tbsp mustard seed

Yield: About 7 to 9 pints
Procedure: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch off blossom end and discard, but leave 1/4 inch of stem attached. Slice or cut in strips, if desired. Place in bowl and sprinkle with 1/3 cup salt. Cover with 2 inches of crushed or cubed ice. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours. Add more ice as needed. Drain well.

Combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed, allspice, and mustard seed in 6-quart kettle. Heat to boiling.

Hot pack—Add cucumbers and heat slowly until vinegar solution returns to boil. Stir occasionally to make sure mixture heats evenly. Fill sterile jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Raw pack—Fill hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Add hot pickling syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.

Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process in a Boiling Water Bath for 10 minutes(pints) or 15 mintes(quarts).


PICKLED ASPARAGUS
10 lbs asparagus(you will have slightly less waste if you use tall narrow jars.)
6 large garlic cloves
4-1/2 cups water
4-1/2 cups white distilled vinegar (5%)
6 small hot peppers (optional)
1/2 cup canning salt
3 tsp dill seed (optional)

Yield: 6 wide-mouth pint jars or 12-ounce jars(with longer spears)
Procedure: Wash asparagus well, but gently, under running water. Cut stems from the bottom to leave spears with tips that fit into the canning jar, leaving a little more than 1/2-inch headspace. Peel and wash garlic cloves. Place a garlic clove at the bottom of each jar, and tightly pack asparagus into hot jars with the tips down. In an 8-quart saucepot, combine water, vinegar, hot peppers (optional), salt and dill seed. Bring to a boil. Place one hot pepper (if used) in each jar over asparagus spears. Pour boiling hot pickling brine over spears, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed.
Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process in a Boiling Water Bath for 10 minutes.

PICKLED BEETS
7 lbs of 2- to 2-1/2-inch diameter beets
4 cups vinegar (5%)
1-1/2 tsp canning or pickling salt
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
4 to 6 onions (2- to 2-1/2-inch diameter), if desired

Yield: About 8 pints
Procedure: Trim off beet tops, leaving 1 inch of stem and roots to prevent bleeding of color.
Wash thoroughly. Sort for size. Cover similar sizes together with boiling water and cook until tender (about 25 to 30 minutes). Caution: Drain and discard liquid. Cool beets. Trim off roots and stems and slip off skins. Slice into 1/4-inch slices. Peel and thinly slice onions. Combine vinegar, salt, sugar, and fresh water. Put spices in cheesecloth bag and add to vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil. Add beets and onions. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove spice bag. Fill hot jars with beets and onions, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Add hot vinegar solution, allowing 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process in a Boiling Water Bath for 30 minutes.

Variation: For pickled whole baby beets, follow above directions but use beets that are 1-to 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Pack whole; do not slice. Onions may be omitted.

Refrigerator Pickles

Refrigerator Pickles are made fresh, allowed to meld in the fridge and then eaten without any further processing. These are not "canned" but simply made as needed. Since these are not actually "Preserved" there is a wide range of recipes available with different acid levels and lots of different ingredients.

TV Chef, Alton Brown, has made quite a study on pickles and has some great recipes to get us started on making Refrigerator Pickles for ourselves.

Kinda Sorta Sours: Cucumbers or zucchini with garlic, onions and champagne vinegar.

Ab's B & B's: Classic refrigerator style Bread & Butter Pickles. These are so good, you can eat them as a sandwich with bread & butter.

Firecrackers: Baby carrots and Thai chilies, a dangerous but delicious combination!

Hurry Curry Cauliflower: Indian style curried cauliflower-Yum!