|6 pounds||Pickling cucumbers (4- to 5-inch size)|
|8 cups||Thinly sliced onions (about 3 pounds)|
|½ cup||Canning or pickling salt|
|4 cups||Vinegar (5 percent)|
|2 tablespoons||Mustard seed|
|1½ tablespoon||Celery seed|
|1 tablespoon||Ground turmeric|
|1 cup||Pickling lime (optional)*|
|1,001 - 6,000 ft: 15 min.|
|Above 6,000 ft: 20 min.|
*for use in variation below for making firmer pickles) Yield: About 8 pints
Procedure: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch off blossom end and discard.
Cut into 3/16-inch slices. Combine cucumbers and onions in a large bowl.
Add salt. Cover with 2 inches crushed or cubed ice. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours, adding more ice as needed.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large pot. Boil 10 minutes. Drain and add cucumbers and onions and slowly reheat to boiling. Fill jars with slices and cooking syrup, leaving ½-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1 or use low-temperature pasteurization treatment.
[Low-temperature pasteurization: The following treatment results in a better product texture but must be carefully managed to avoid possible spoilage. Place jars in a canner filled half way with warm (120 degree to 140 degree F) water. Then, add hot water to a level 1 inch above jars. Heat the water enough to maintain 180 to 185 degree F water temperature for 30 minutes. Check with a candy or jelly thermometer to be certain that the water temperature is at least 180 degrees F during the entire 30 minutes. Temperatures higher than 185 degrees F may cause unnecessary softening of pickles.] Variation for firmer pickles: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch off blossom end and discard. Cut into 3/16-inch slices. Mix 1 cup pickling lime and ½ cup salt to 1 gallon water in a 2- to 3-gallon crock or enamelware container. Avoid inhaling lime dust while mixing the lime-water solution. Soak cucumber slices in lime water for 12 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from lime solution, rinse, and resoak 1 hour in fresh cold water. Repeat the rinsing and soaking steps two more times. Handle carefully, as slices will be brittle. Drain well.
Storage: After processing and cooling, jars should be stored 4 to 5 weeks to develop ideal flavor.
Variation: Squash bread-and-butter pickles. Substitute slender (1 to 1-½ inches in diameter) zucchini or yellow summer squash for cucumbers.
Table 1. Recommended process time for Bread-and-Butter Pickles in a boiling-water canner.
Style of Pack: Hot. Jar Size: Pints or Quarts.
Process Time at Altitudes of 0 - 1,000 ft: 10 min.
=========================================================== * USDA Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539 (rev. 1994) * Meal-Master format courtesy of Karen Mintzias
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